via Mugabe uses ZANU PF conference to rage and threaten | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Monday, December 16, 2013
ZANU PF’s ageing leader, Robert Mugabe, used the party’s conference this weekend to rage against the West, his old partners in government, the country’s economic position, the mining sector and more.
The 89 year old also moved to threaten some players in the country’s platinum and gold sectors, repeating calls to ban raw mineral exports.
“We should not continue to send our minerals out in their raw form,” Mugabe told delegates at the party’s annual conference in Chinoyi.
He singled out Zimplats, a subsidiary of platinum-mining multinational Implats, for “externalising” raw platinum ore.
“Zimplats has been exporting platinum but we have very little by way of earnings. We don’t know where the money is going. We must have our money back.”
Mugabe also said the government was considering slashing the number of diamond miners operating in the country.
“We should be looking at the possibility of rationalising the mining of diamonds,” he said. “We have six companies mining diamonds, but of these six only three are really worth talking about. We would also want greater transparency.”
Mugabe also used the conference to take aim at his newly appointed Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, saying he should stop claiming that the government had no money.
“Find money Chinamasa. Where is our platinum, gold and diamonds going? You can’t say there is no money when others are taking it. Tell them we are the owners now and we are taking our money,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe, who spoke at both the opening and closing of the three day conference, said his party was “born again” after the widely disputed elections in July, saying his previous partners in government, the MDC-T were “dead and buried.”
“They will never rise again,” Mugabe said. “We dug graves for them and interred them in those graves.”
Mugabe also had nothing good to say about the previous coalition government, calling it a “humiliation” for ZANU PF.
“Anyway, you did us an honour we went through a tortuous row — a five year humiliation but takangozvidukupisa over those five years tichiziva kuti ah people have to know who this other side are.
‘‘If you want go back again hameno zvenyu munotsva ikoko. Kugehena ka uku. You now know the difference between heaven and earth. Kana mange musingazivi kunaSatana ndikoko.”
He also once again used the platform to make a scathing attack on the West and its leaders, branding them “fools”. This is despite the presence at the conference of United States Ambassador Bruce Wharton and other diplomats.
“The Bible clearly stated that God created man, but there are some who would have wanted it to read ‘God made white man’,” Mugabe said.
He added: “Let no other nation fool you because they are pink and you are black. They think that they are superior but they are dumb fools,” he said.
Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa that although it is now customary for Mugabe to rage against the West and the opposition at any opportunity, it was still “deeply embarrassing for Zimbabwe.”
“He uses every opportunity available to attack them… it’s ridiculous and terrible that we have a person like Mugabe, being called a leader, but stooping so low,” Mashiri said.
The analyst added that the tirades are a “diversionary tactic,” with the ZANU PF party “severely fractured” by infighting.
“This is a tactic by Mugabe to divert attention from the party’s imminent implosion,” Mashiri said.
ZANU PF infighting has steadily worsened over recent years, as the fight to determine who will take over from Mugabe hots up. Mugabe did not focus on the fights during his speeches at the weekend conference, stating only that his party would choose his eventual replacement.