Home » Governance » ’Senile’ Mugabe Leads Nation of Vendors – Tsvangirai

ZIMBAWEANS are headed for a cheerless festive season with most people reduced to vendors and the country under the charge of a “senile president” and his power hungry but ill-qualified wife, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

In his end of year message, the former prime minister said Zimbabweans were suffering, having been betrayed by the Zanu PF-led administration.

“Companies are closing, all hope is now completely shattered and the economic prospects remain dim for the country and its people,” Tsvangirai said.

“All we see are hard-working vendors crowding our streets and struggling to survive. We have simply become a poor nation of vendors a country where everyone is trying to sell something to someone.

“Added to that is a senile President with a vituperative wife and a party that has prioritized in-fighting at the expense of the problems facing the ordinary citizens of this country.”

The country’s 90-year-old president left Harare Sunday for his annual break in the Far East, leaving behind a nation that will see little festive cheer over Christmas and the New Year breaks.

“The carnival atmosphere synonymous with this time of the year is sorely absent in the country,” said Tsvangirai.

“In the run-up to this festive season, we are not seeing housewives pushing full trolleys out of supermarkets and food chains as they did during the inclusive government era.

“The people have no money in their pockets there is no food in our homes and yet the shops and supermarkets are full of goods and products we cannot afford.”

Last year, Mugabe and his Zanu PF party stormed to a landslide election victory, promising to turn around the country’s battered economy and delivering more than two million new jobs.

The MDC-T warned, then, that the “fraudulent” vote and the consequent “legitimacy crisis” would bring the country’s economy to its knees.

A year after the vote however, the opposition party’s dire predictions have come true, said Tsvangirai.

“Only last year, those in the seat of government, after stealing yet another election, promised to create 2,2 million jobs, increase productivity in our industries and more disposable income in people’s pockets, among many other promises,” said Tsvangirai.

“But the reality is something completely different all the promises made in the run-up to the last election have gone down the drain and even projected growth figures have had to be drastically reduced downwards.

“Apart from the US$1 billion spirited out of this economy weeks after the stolen election due to lost confidence, over 4,000 companies have closed and more than 55,000 people have lost their jobs.

“In the recently announced budget, about 81 percent is going towards recurrent expenditure, crowding out the productive sector and other pressing needs to do with infrastructure development and economic revival.”

Instead of focussing on the dire economic situation and working to alleviate the plight of the struggling majority poor, Mugabe and his Zanu PF have been concentrating on fighting for power within and outside the party.

Over the last couple of months the president’s wife, Grace was sprung and unleashed on a country-wide tour during which she held rallies staged principally to denounce former vice president Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru was accused of grand corruption, incompetence and plotting to illegally topple Mugabe in a process that culminated in her ouster along with several cabinet ministers thought to have been working with her.

Political analyst and seasoned Zanu PF observer Ibbo Mandaza said the expulsions meant Mugabe now led a minority in Zanu PF with as many as 100 of the party’s 160-plus legislators side-lined by the destruction of Mujuru’s faction.

Tsvangirai said the purging of the “majority” in Zanu PF showed there was now a national consensus that the country needed a fresh start under a new leadership.

“The national convergence is already palpable and clear for everyone to see,” said the MDC-T leader.

“If the minority in Zanu PF are now suspending and firing the majority on the basis that those being suspended are against the status quo, it confirms that there is now national consensus beyond just the MDC that the country needs to start on a new slate.”

He added that his party had a plan for turning around the country’s fortunes.

“We in the MDC will not let down the people we are clear on our national mandate and the complex dictates of the current political moment. We are not resting on our laurels,” he said.

“I have just gone around the entire country conversing with all the newly elected provincial leaderships of the party, discussing a lot of issues including our policies, vision, the strategy for the endgame and how we hope to achieve positive change for the people of this country.

“Ultimately, the fate of this country is in our hands and we must be prepared for that ultimate action, permissible under the laws of this land indeed action that will demand, shape and determine the environment in which people will freely give a mandate and legitimacy to a government of their choice.”

Source : New Zimbabwe