We have messed up — Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday conceded that his Zanu PF government had grossly mismanaged parastatals and turned them into “awful money spenders, awful burdens around our neck”.


He described the parastatals as literally dead and ready for burial. Addressing captains of industry at State House in Harare, Mugabe, however said he did not envy South Africa, as its system of doing business had seen the black majority largely unfree yet the African National Congress ANC leadership seemed satisfied with it.

He also lashed out at South Africa’s ruling ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe describing him as “stupid”, in a development that could trigger a fresh diplomatic tiff with the neighbouring country.

Mugabe upped the ante yesterday, saying South Africa was “economically unfree”, as he continued a verbal onslaught on the neighbouring country.

“We didn’t fight just for freedom. I made this remark in regard to South Africa and, what do they call him, Gwede Ma(ntashe), stupidly reacts, yes, they only fought to remove apartheid,” he said.

“The country went to war for a number of years, lost men and women within the country, outside the country in order for us to regain what was our lost country.

“Defeat the settlers, as we have done and then came those of us who were out and joined those who were here and say together we fought this struggle, together we have won and here is now a free country, ours together,” he said.

The attack came hardly two weeks after Mugabe blasted the late former South African President Nelson Mandela’s alleged soft spot for white South African capitalists.

In the backdrop of the latest attack is First Lady Grace
Mugabe’s alleged assault of a South African model, Gabriella Engels, at a Johannesburg hotel, which could have made relations between Pretoria and Harare frosty.

Grace only escaped possible arrest and prosecution for assault after she was granted diplomatic immunity, which enabled her to fly back home, with the victim’s lawyers still pushing for her private prosecution.

After Mugabe lashed out at Mandela, Mantashe hit back, subtly hinting that the Zimbabwean leader had ruined his country’s economy.

But at yesterday’s meeting, Mugabe insisted Zimbabwe had the right to comment on South Africa because the two countries’ “revolutionary objectives” were the same.

He said he was worried about what he called lack of freedom in South Africa and at one point he met with ANC leaders, who claimed to be satisfied with the state of affairs.

“You are just fighting for the removal of apartheid and not for freedom and independence, as we were doing, and they said well freedom was given to us by Britain in 1910.

“It is a legal thing, we cannot change it, why can’t you change it?
“A revolutionary party saying it cannot change it, then all our efforts, even ourselves, could be in vain if we cannot change the laws that our oppressors made,” Mugabe said.

He said South Africa was isolated in terms of its governance system.

“Ours was not just freedom, we wanted freedom of the nature that gave us independence and the right of ownership of our country. That’s it, that was the difference. The difference is in our system, Mozambican system, Namibia, Angola are on one side, different from South Africa.
“They left the very persons they said had imposed apartheid on them in control of their resources,” Mugabe said.

Unlike in South Africa, Mugabe encouraged Zimbabweans to take charge of their economy.

Ironically, there are an estimated two million Zimbabweans living in South Africa, who fled the worsening economic woes back home.

Mugabe, in his response to concerns raised by captains of industry said: “We certainly share your concerns over the underperformance of the State enterprises and parastatals, whose current contribution to the national GDP (gross domestic product) is around 11%, 12% down from the peak of 40%,” he said.

“I can reveal to you a Cabinet secret.

“We were discussing this subject on Tuesday (and) I was very negative about it and I could see the Minister of Finance (Patrick Chinamasa) getting more and more depressed by my speech, which ended by, these are non-performers, what we must do is to find coffins for them and bury them with the words ‘rest in peace’.”

He described parastatals as “awful money spenders, awful burdens around our neck”, even giving the Britain scenario where they became the source of conflict between the Labour and Conservative parties.

Mugabe said they were not being made accountable and left with ballooning expenditures lacking control and huge debts from international money lenders like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“So I said Minister of Finance, well you can go your own way and they said important ones must be kept, but the others we should get as many coffins as there are, those which have caused us immense expenditure, they should certainly go,” he said.

Mugabe said the Zimbabwean set-up proved a huge toll on former Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) boss Mike Ndudzo.

“So, I said to my people we have also tried. We built lots of parastatals and companies which are as good as parastatals that look after themselves even in the name of State companies and you would have one person like Ndudzo running the whole of IDC, multifaceted companies and how do you expect even given that he is a very sincere man and well trained?” he said.

Auditor-General Mildred Chiri has for several years painted a gloomy picture of the state of parastatals.

Mugabe also talked about corruption, the need for mechanisms for ease of doing business as well as plans to revamp the economy.

Presenting the concerns of the business community, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries past president Charles Msipa said although there were opportunities in Zimbabwe, the cost of doing business was very high.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw


  1. Whats up with Gire’s issue ndopayakuzomuka manje. Kana vaifunga kuti they are doing Robbie’s good. KEEP IT UP robbie

    1. Well said Mr President, but way too late! Where are you going to put the Air Commodores you rewarded with posts at these parastatals? Yes, they should be buried or left to run as private entities with a focus on bottom line. Let’s have NRZ (Pvt) Ltd, GMB (Pvt) Ltd for example and let them compete in a free-fall market. These monopolistic and oligopolistic government entities are indeed “awful money spenders, awful burdens around our neck”, to quote your very own words, Sir!.

      1. AGREED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. kkk Robbie vanopedzera

  2. Here is one dreamer is worried about SA yet his economy is down and under the bus, is he diverting attention elsewhere or what? How many Zimbos are hiding as economic refugees in SA, even his children where going to school there before their Dr Mom bashed their girlfriend. Why did he not keep his children at the many Universities he created, him getting treatment in Singapore, his deputy in SA and children giving birth overseas. He failed to build a good hospital for himself in 37 years in power yet he tells SA how to run their country…………laugh at this biltong of a man

    1. Chen chikezho i summed it all very frank and straight forward

      1. well said mr president it is something that baffles me to think that the only way our nation is going to be great is by having a ruler under the settlers because lets face it where are we going with more and more sanctions being imposed on us

    2. Chikezha, our logical analysis is wasted on the know-it-all old man. Thanks anyway!

  3. Shouting at others and not offering any solutions to the problem he created makes this former teacher a monumental failure. What caused the collapse of these parastatals? who is responsible? what action will be taken against those responsible and whats the way forward?
    No country ever succeeded by denigrating another, we have work to do and this biltong is not shining any light. I was hoping he and his entire bootlicking team would call it quits

  4. Shame on you Robert


  5. The Parastatals are not performing because the appointments there are based on nepotism. Hama dzako Mugabe nedzaGrace ndidzo mashefu in almost every setup. Which Minister can supervise hama dzenyu? Aswere adzingwa zvake achinzi haagoni basa. What turn around can Simba Chikore bring to Air Zimbabwe besides just bossing around? Vanyai mukuroorana kwemhuri dzenyu are being rewarded. Vana Bimha, vana sekuru Chombo, William Gumbochuma became a minister of Education despite the fact that he was never a good teacher at Bondolfi Mission. He was only a good karataker. The list is endless. The first coffin should is yours,followed by Grace’s and thereafter, we can revamp the parastatals.


  6. IF we are to burry these dead parastatals we also need to burry this dead government which destroyed these parastatals. Who knows what they might destroy next. The next funeral might be of the once beautiful Country of Zimbabwe

  7. Do we have freedom in Zimbabwe Mr President ?

    What’s freedom ?

  8. This rift will most likely affect my fellow Zimbabweans in South Africa.
    Watch out

    1. Very true. But it could turnout to be a blessing if South Africa kicks out two million voters who are angry with Mugabe for causing their deportation in time for next year’s elections!

  9. There is no freedom in Zimbabwe. Mugabe and his cronies fought for their own liberation and if you want to be free, start your own fight for freedom now. Kana uchisungirwa kutaura kuti Mugabe auraya nyika then what freedom do you talk about? If you are arrested for talking about succession then what freedom are you enjoying. To hell we need to fight for true independence.

    1. chokwadi hachina pressure

  10. What this man Mugabe did to the people of Zimbabwe is just is even worse than the apartheid government did! He did it to his own people, he sold Zimbabwe to China!


  11. The man R.G should trade carefully with his words on S.A as it will trigger some very serious effects on our brothers and sisters across the Limpopo and our trade relations north of it.Ngaazive zvekuprinda mabond paper.

  12. South Africa should simply deport all the Economic Zimbabwean refuges in South Africa since Mugabe says Zimbabwe is doing well than South Africa. Mugabe does not realise how many Zimbabweans are suffering because of the economic bad policies in Zimbabwe. South Africa, in my view is economically doing much better than Zimbabwe by very far margins. Industry wise Rhodesia was doing much better and had we continued with the economic policies rather than political, today we could have been the best in Africa in terms of industrilisation.


  13. Old man old mind reckless speech!!!


  15. There is a certain cde who writes very eloquent comments of praise to this biltong, he is called muzvinacrap…….and his friends.Care to comment NOW?


  17. Siyanai ka nevanhu vanenyika yavo, SouthAfrica is a sovereign nation , SouthAfricans for the South Africans and Zimbabwean for Zimbabweans after all who has children in South including biological ones. Mind business renyu veduwe.

  18. Its a shame no one can tell the old man the truth when they get one on one from his wife, his comrades,the business, the church, the students, other Presidents. This man is too old and too backward to rule this country anymore. He needs rest. As long he is still the leader expect no change, mark my words!

  19. “Ours was not just freedom, we wanted freedom of the nature that gave us independence and the right of ownership of our country. That’s it, that was the difference. The difference is in our system, Mozambican system, Namibia, Angola are on one side, different from South Africa.
    “They left the very persons they said had imposed apartheid on them in control of their resources,” Mugabe said.

    This old man is really old and has lost it completely. Surely he has the guts to stand up and boast about his radical ego that has reduced an economy to ruins? What nonsense is that? The demon in him really needs exorcising even kuedza Magaya or Makandiwa. Zimweya riri panababa ava rakaipa. He is a sadist who gets aroused achiona majority of Zimbabweans suffering while he is resident in the air flying all over the world while Zimbabwe burns. Vanhu vakasunungura economically ndevapi? Ana Chatunga? The majority of Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty iye naGrace vachiita party and he calls that economic freedom. May the almighty please rescue Zimbabwe from this old Gagul.

  20. Blair,keep your england and i’ll keep my zimbabwe,,,,,,Tsvangirai you’ll never rule this country,,,,,,south africa should keep its dogs mouth shut meaning zuma and mtetwa,,,,Gwande mantashe is stupid ,,, George bush a westerner with western ideas of imposing illegal sactions,,,, Mujuru ari kuda kundiuraya,,,,Mnangagwa ngafe nepoison,Mandela haana kuita zvakanaka,now its South africa haina kusunguka economically,,Aaaaaaaa mdhara ,kunze kwenyu ndiani mumwe anoziva zvaanoita?

  21. If South Africa is so bad for Balcks then why have millions of Zimbabweans fled to South Africa?

  22. senility taking it’s toll. We all know that in the current economic climate in the country no self respecting investor will pour his cash in these political outfits masquerading as SEs. All things that you’ve tried in the name of economic liberation have all failed dismissally. resign!

  23. this is devastating to say…. There is no option, the big wigs have looted everything for their personal interests and its sad to say there is “NO ACCOUNTABILITY” as if the parastatals run themselves. Now you talk of coffins for these State run entities…. “I SAY NO, YOU SHOULD PERFORM MIRACLES AND RAISE THE DEAD PARASTATALS”…. Its a shame this country is now in a mess because of a “SPECIAL GROUP OF PEOPLE”…. RAISE THE DEAD…. Kutaura kudai kuziva kuti hapachina solution. Now that you have failed, we will build it from scratch starting next year and God will help us

  24. To Mugabe economic freedom is taking the economy from productive whites and giving it Mugabe’s family to ”eat and be merry”- and do not ask why or how much is spend – if you do ”WE” -”the first family & cronies” will deal with you.

    Question is: Who is better Apartheid or Mugabe government?

    The misappropriated land is now being taken again from the fellow black brother and being given to the ”first family”- GREEDY!! GREEDY!! SELFISHLY GREEDY & CRUEL THIS FAMILY!!




  25. The South African economy is on the rebound and is regarded as the biggest in Africa. the independence that the President is talking of is non-existant in Zimbabwe. For example MPs are threatened with death if they heckle the president in parliament yet in South Africa the president is grilled in parliament during the question and answer segment even with jibes being thrown at him. The President must stop shifting the blame all the time; he must acknowledge his failures period. The president has been talking about corruption for far too long without any action at all. There has not yet been any arrest of a high profile individual or firing of a minister accussed of corruption. What we have witnessed is the president and his wife defending alleged perpetrators of corruption. The countries that the president is referring are in a much better position than Zimbabwe; for instance a few years ago our economy was way better than that of Mozambique but as of Mozambique has overtaken us. Yes the government must put in place policies that makes it easy to do business in the country. The government must be concerned about the welfare of the ordinary citizen. Right now this is wishful thinking because all that the president promised in the built up to the 2013 election none of it has been fulfilled thus far. The president has been blaming sanctions now he is blaming the South Africans. One parastal that has been under-performing is Air zimbabwe; and the major cause of this is the president who is always flying non-stop. So mr president stop it!

  26. Age is now driving this old dictator nuts!How can he you be worried about South Africa’s independence when he is faced with a mammoth task in his own country to resuscitate the comatose economy?When his own useless government is presiding over an unemployment rate that is above 90 percent? Do you think independence means to make your own people poor and to beat and kill them at will if they don’t subscribe to your cult masquereding as a political party?You demonise a country where about 3 million of your own people have sought political and economic refugee?Its a case of biting the hand that feeds you.How many South Africans have been reported to have been killed because they don’t support ANC?To this wrinkled,satanic and brainless old man, independence means trumping on people’s rights left,right and centre and force them to keep on chanting hollow and hate zanu pf slogans.Garai pasi sekuru!

  27. Our nonagenarian is past his expiry date. He is noticing NOW that, the economy is in SH!T. He destroyed the economy and now he is jealous of SA’s economy. SA govt is doing very well in working together with all races. SA govt is not a racist govt. Zim’s economy is in SH!T becoz the blacks are in control.

  28. Mugabe vs SA. Gurai mambo tifanane

  29. Robert Mugabe ENVIES South Africa. That is why his two sons are there and not in Zimbabwe. All this is just playing to the gallery. The HYPOCRISY of it all!

  30. We have no economic freedom because we are struggling Mr President. We have no freedom from hunger, no freedom from poverty and no freedom from lack. That is why for those who can afford, they cannot trust our own hospitals. They prefer to go to countries like Singapore, Dubai, India and South Africa. We must talk about practical things Mr Present and not rhetoric. Zimbabweans are suffering Mr President.

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