Fix your mess now, Msipa tells Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe should, for now, forget about his candidature for the 2018 presidential elections and, instead, focus on coming up with a clear succession plan and economic turn-around strategies, former politburo member, Cephas Msipa has said.

By Richard Chidza

President R.G.Muage
President R.G.Muage

Msipa told NewsDay, in an interview on the sidelines of former Cabinet minister, David Coltart’s book launch last week, that the best legacy Mugabe could give Zimbabwe was a “succession plan before he goes”.

“Mugabe must put the country first. At the moment, Zimbabweans do not know what tomorrow holds and are literally groping in the dark. Forget about elections in 2018 and do something now,” he said.

“I cannot force Mugabe to stepdown, but given his age, I think it’s important for him to find a solution now.

Zimbabweans are asking what happens when he goes. It is a problem and scary scenario.”

Mugabe has indicated he is ready to stand as the Zanu PF candidate in elections expected in mid-2018, when
he will be 94.

However, a vicious succession struggle rocking the former liberation movement has presented him with
headaches, as senior leaders in the party position themselves to takeover after him.

Two groups, one believed to be loyal to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and another made up of predominantly young party members said to be pushing for First Lady Grace Mugabe, have emerged.

Both Grace and Mnangagwa have denied angling to succeed the President or leading the factions.

Msipa said Mugabe’s inaction in resolving the succession issue was worrying.

“I am worried and Zimbabweans are worried, and without a proper succession plan, Mugabe’s departure presents
a worrying scenario,” he said.

“Mugabe should be looking beyond his party because he is the so-called only centre of power and can do what he wants. I would have him use that opportunity to now move and set out a clear succession plan.” Msipa said while Mugabe was largely to blame for the country’s current political and socio-economic crises, the veteran politician also holds the keys to resolving them.

“There is no solution to Zimbabwe’s problems without Zanu PF. Mugabe is part of the problems and he should be part of the solution as well,” the former Midlands governor continued.

“He needs to accept that there is going to be change, but he needs to manage that. He can facilitate the change of

“He should allow people to begin to talk about it and in the process of talking, we will find answers.

“Mugabe should take the lead. He is the key. He has the power and support of his party and can provide direction. He can make his party turn left or right. It is up to him to come up with a plan to manage the transition.”

Msipa said Mugabe could take a cue from the late Tanzanian founding leader, Julius Nyerere, who stepped down and allowed for a peaceful and orderly transition.

“I am not asking him to re-invent the wheel. There are examples all over, like Nyerere did in Tanzania. He needs to really think about it and understand that a peaceful transition will be the best thing he could bequeath to this country,” he said.

“Zimbabweans might actually forgive him for everything he is accused of having done in the past three-and-half decades.

He needs to say to himself: ‘I do not want this country to sink with me, I want it to prosper’.

“There are quite a number of elders in the country who would be willing to help and I will be willing to assist in that process as well.”


  1. Mugabe now only cares about his family and his loot,he wants to go to his grave with Zim. Hero who has completely turned villain and tryrant – shame!

  2. Shayadzamugabe

    Mugabe haachina conscience

  3. Mugabe can never say he doesn’t want Zimbabwe to sink with him because that’s already happened. We are a failed state and Mugabe continues to work hard to make sure we sink even deeper into the hole he dug for the country. He is vindictive and the moment Zimbabweans voted him out, he decided he would stay on illegitimately to punish us for rejecting him.

    For all intense and purposes, Mugabe’s only interest in Zim is that it is his personal ATM. He never holidays in the country; his children are not educated here even as he is Chancellor of all state universities; he seeks medical care abroad at huge expense to the broke country; even caterers for his daughter’s wedding were flown in from abroad. The icing on the cake is that he doesn’t believe Zimbabwe has gynecologists good enough for his daughter.

    What former minister Msipa is saying makes a lot of sense but sadly, he is talking about someone who has not cared for this country since he deployed our soldiers to die in the jungles of Congo.

  4. wise words from a wise man

    1. Too true. I also think he has never recovered from (or is it forgiven us for) the humiliation of 2008. He only cares about his family now. If you look at Nyerere (or less so Kaunda), there was no sense of injured pride, anger or vindictiveness there when it became apparent that their countries wanted and needed new ideas and new leadership.

  5. VaMsipa, NdiMugabe chaiye here wamurikutaura nezvake kana kuti moreva mumwewo zvake?

  6. Cde Sir Msipa,may u do us a favour as Zimbabweans,talk to your former boss secretly,politely and miserably that HIS PEOPLE are suffering. I know u have chances of meeting him than us. PLEASE PLEASE our father,do help us. We are now clueless on our own.

  7. mugabe prefers to be called the late president rather than be called the former president of zimbabwe.he does not want to imagine someone else being called his excellence when he is still alive.

  8. i recall when Gushungo attended the memorial service of Cde Cephas Msipa’s late wife, he said he was as nephew and not President and gave gave a detailed narration of their relationship. VaMsipa ngavataurire muzukuru wavo kuti nguva yakwana yekuti anozorora.

  9. President Mugabe’s only role in this successional debate is to wipe out factionalism and streamline his party. Thereafter, the law explicitly stipulates the rest on succession. He necessarily need not pinpoint an individual. By now Mugabe should have learnt from his counterparts among them Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela who placed the interests of the people first and voluntarily stepped down. On the contrary, his other counterparts like Kenneth Kaunda, Kamuzu Banda and Daniel Moi remained adamant and faced the full wrath of their respective voters. In extreme cases, others like Mobutu have been forced out to exile. Recently, our continent has faced many uprisings where longtime leaders have been unceremoniously removed. Although their guilty conscience has forced many to remain adamant, Mugabe should use his wisdom to weigh his options. The future of Zimbabwe centrally rests on his decision at this delicate juncture. Its very unfortunate to allow history to judge him harshly after such long service inspite of his leadership challenges. He may not have performed to the expectations of his citizens but allowing a peaceful succession and handing over defeats all. This is a very critical stage for the country where if unchecked, lawlessness may penetrate. Such is the fate that Somalia begot in 1991 ending up as a failed state todate. Decide wisely President Mugabe, the ball is in your court.

  10. Patrick M Utete

    The constitution of the Party is very explicit on this issue. The people shall chose a leader of their own choice when the situation arises through an extraordinary congress.

  11. when l was doing my primary education in rural area my gogo told mi about Gushungo and now l completed my A leve,he is still ruling this country.lf i check correctly kubva ipapo pandamuziva 1994 upto now economic yashata and haina payakambonaka kuchema chete.mamwe ma location hasisina ma tarred roads chaiwo ane ma dish holes not pot holes izvi zviri clearkuti vakuru vatadza ngavasire vamwe.

  12. The blame of failure lies squarely at all those who celebrated the “win” of last elections. Look now ….what did you “win”? Poverty and misery? Hardly worth celebrating is it?

  13. Timothy Thorton

    The succession matrix is in place constitutionally and otherwise. I do not seem to understand why pple keep talking about the obvious. The President is so old that it is a wonder where he gets the bit of energy to continue in office but granted he is still the president. However what he needs to do is to properly delegate most of his duties to his able vice Munangagwa who seems to be the only vice who understands a bit of the president’s role as the other one is always busy in Nketa performing ward Councillor duties- dishing out chicks. Obviously with that mentality he has no capacity to run the country. Surely a person who does not understand the difference between a hotel and a house may not understand the complexity of a constitution and an act of parliament which may be disastrous. So its not about succession but understanding the flow of power and delegation to make sure that those who perform the President’s roles are not questioned by the likes of Mandi Chimene who do not understand the role of hierarchy. If the President did not allow fools to disrespect his Vice then there would be no question of succession. Grace would do extremely well as a first lady and not what she is meant to believe that she can also be president. If the president took this advice this country would be working again. Surely you can’t have Chipanga rulling the country, Kasukuwere ruling the country, Chimene saying something else and Mahoka barking from the other corner, Mpoko accusing people of taking other people’s wives while others are discussing how to transform the country.

  14. You pple are full of rubbish & sophomoric nonsense.Your ignorance on Pan-Africa cause & Revolutions is pathetic.Fools are celebrating burning of a national warehouse…they make me sick.Civilised pple engage & resolve ,the don’t respond to violence,abuse & accusation.Shem! on #ThisFlag #tajamuka

    1. Nothing national about things in Zimbabwe they have been zanunized.

  15. Some refreshingly cool, sober & truthful advice

  16. @ humba

    ndaseka, wat does war do….pan-africa yako ndeyeku dzvanyirira vanhu, revolution yako is in you head yekuuraya vanhu, nzara, zero development

  17. @ FAKE CDE HUMBA, there is nothing wrong with pan africanism but it must not be used to suppress people. The situation at Beitbridge is pathetic but must bring policy makers on the table. Do you think protests are just mere protests without any cause. Lets deal with the fundamentals and not just apply bandages on a cancerous wound. Its not too let. Zimbabwe is slowly sinking and something must be done. Yet those people who must be at the forefront are busy enriching their pockets in a corrupt manner.

  18. pamberi nerusununguko munyika yezimbabwe

  19. pasi nevadzvanyiriri vezanu pf

  20. Personally…. Come on! Mugabe this, Mugabe that… How old is he? How together is he? I do not believe for one second that Mugabe is fully to blame for how our country is doing at this time. Yes, it obviously started out with him… But now? You have to sit back and question things a bit guys… He is a very old man who really can’t keep things together… He has now become the “puppet” so to speak for all of his cronies that have become accustomed to their way of lavish living at the country’s expense and aren’t about to give it up without a fight…. Can you not see that? It is virtually impossible at this point to distinguish the wolves from the sheep when it comes to the “so called” ruling party… But one thing is for sure… Corruption is literally everywhere… And as has been said… They will stop at nothing to keep the dollars rolling in for them! After Mugabe… It would be a different face but the same old bs! Giving off the illusion on choice to the people, but in reality… We are still feeding the wolf!

  21. No-one will rule without consultation like Mugabe.Imagine ruling a whole country without taking advice from anyone,that’s why Mugabe finds himself in this news.He is he’s own worst enemy .If he had been a man who consults the economists,basic thouroug consultation before decision making the country would be better off ,but as history has it signs of the end game are here and he does not so himself a favour by burying he’s head in the sand .

  22. *Finds himself in this mess

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