Home » Governance » Free Your Lieutenants, Makoni Urges Mugabe

OPPOSITION Mavambo Kusile frontman and former finance Minister Simba Makoni has called on President Robert Mugabe to “free” his lieutenants as the nonagenarian’s final contribution to a better Zimbabwe.

Mugabe adamantly rules out stepping down from power despite turning 90 this year and struggling with failing health, a claim aides however deny.

The veteran leader insists his country and party still need him, even claiming Zanu PF could collapse if he were to retire.

But top aides led by vice president Joice Mujuru and justice minister Emmerson Mngangagwa are understood to be champing at the bit, keen to take over although neither has yet shown the courage to openly challenge Mugabe.

Makoni, who quit Zanu PF in frustration at Mugabe’s refusal to give others a chance back in 2008, told journalists at his monthly briefing now known as Conversations with Simba, that Mugabe had no significant role left to play in the crafting of a working Zimbabwe except to unshackle his comrades.

“As far as I am concerned, Mugabe does not have much of a role to play in the thought process of crafting a Zimbabwe that is working again,” he said.

“Problems are not solved by the same minds that created them. I have respect for Mugabe as a father. I have a lot of issues about what he is doing to our country but the creation of the future of Zimbabwe that we all yearn for is beyond him not just because of the fact that he is 90 but because of his mind-set is not able to look at the future.

“He would, though, have a role to play in facilitating by freeing his comrades to act their convictions. He should unshackle his comrades in the politburo, in the Central Committee so that they can live what they believe.”

Makoni said Mugabe and many Zanu PF leaders were “prisoners of the past, caught in a time warp”.

“In the thought process of creating what Zimbabwe should be I think he (Mugabe) has not much to play because he is a prisoner of the past? There are so many comrades stuck in Chimoio that it is difficult to jump into 21st century Zimbabwe and Mugabe is one of those,” the former finance minister said.

Makoni said he had no yearning to go back to his formative political home at which he rose to the position of politburo member.

“I have no yearning to go back to Zanu PF, l am not working towards that and have not been approached to go back to the party,” Makoni insisted.

“I do not think Zanu PF can contribute meaningfully to a future Zimbabwe. Zanu PF as an entity just like its leader (Mugabe) have no capacity to create a working Zimbabwe.

“But there are people in Zanu PF and there are many who have the capacity, competency and the will to contribute meaningfully and I have lots of respect for those and I talk to them and they talk to me.”

Makoni who also served as secretary general of regional power broker Sadc for a decade, was at pains to dispel the long held “big-wigs rumour”.

Makoni quit Zanu PF to challenge Mugabe for the presidency ahead of the 2008 elections, claiming that several big wigs backed his move and would follow him in ditching the liberation party. Not many of any significant influence did, apart from the likes of former home affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa.

“I do not know how many times I should say this but I will continue to answer this question as long as it is brought up. I never suggested that there were big-wigs in Zanu PF who were going to follow me out of the party but they are people in that party who agree with me but are afraid.

“There are people in Zanu PF who are yearning for a change of the way our life is. Many of them are caught up in fear and may not admit it in a public platform like this one,” he said adding these could be part of a broad alliance.

Source : New Zimbabwe