Simba Makoni, a former Zanu (PF) Politburo member and Finance Minister in the Mugabe government said the events exposed the first family’s extravagance, heartlessness and greed.
“I wonder if the Mugabe family had a million dollars to spend on a single day, given donations forced out of the poor and bootlicking companies which stampeded over each other to make donations at a time some villagers were marooned by floods,” said Makoni, the leader of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn.
He suspected the donations had been extorted and queried why the companies concerned did not extend their generosity to victims of the floods which left over 60,000 people homeless in Masvingo.
He said Mugabe’s lack of care for the people was confirmed by the splashing of luxuries at a time when the country was experiencing untold suffering. After independence the Zanu (PF) government had inherited and continued to use oppressive institutions to retain power and accumulate wealth, he said.
“State machinery is deployed to intimidate the people from questioning the accumulation of wealth,” said Makoni. “Our leadership surrounds itself with the corrupt and least competent who pose no threat to their authority.” He called for a new brand of quality leadership that would be honest, competent, tolerant and selfless.
Makoni said the Mugabe of today was shockingly different from the Mugabe of the early years of independence. “Mugabe and those surrounding him gradually lost their liberation values and socialistic path, as they amassed wealth and power towards the 1990s,” said Makoni, indicating that he and others tried to influence change from within Zanu (PF).
He said the majority of top Zanu (PF) officials wanted change but their dreams were suppressed by the system. He blasted cabinet ministers for issuing themselves top of the range vehicles and other perks when essential institutions for the people such as Parirenyatwa Hospital had no water.
Makoni called on Zimbabweans to remain resolute as “democracy will surely come”. He said genuine reconciliation and freedom for people to express themselves through protests were fundamental elements of democracy.
Commenting on the ‘salary-gate’ which saw top officials at parastatals and other state enterprises earning obscene salaries, Makoni was pessimistic that the accused would be brought to justice.
“As we can all see, those fingered in the scandals are being slowly let off the hook,” he said, adding that Zimbabwe needed a paradigm shift to turn around its fortunes “but Mugabe would not be part of the equation.”
Born March 22, 1950, expelled from the University of Zimbabwe for political activism, Trained in the Uk as a chemist during the Second Chimurenga – BSc at Leads University and PhD at Leicester Polytechnic in Medical Chemistry. Appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture in 1980, Minister of Industry and Energy Development in 1981.
Executive Secretary of SADC 1983-1993. Became managing director of Zimbabwe Papers till 1997. Bounced back as Minister of Finance in 2000 but fell out with Mugabe and Zanu (PF) for supporting the devaluation of the Zimdollar and was replaced by Hebert Murerwa.
Attempted to stand as Zanu (PF) parliamentary candidate for Makoni Central in 2005 but his application came late and was torpedoed by Patrick Chinamasa. In 2008 challenged Mugabe for the state presidency since there was need for new brains at the top. Went on to form Mavambo/Dawn/Kusile together with Kudzai Mbudzi and Ibbo Mandaza.Post published in: News