We used to get drunk on £1: Tsvangirai

By | July 11, 2014

via We used to get drunk on £1: Tsvangirai – DailyNews Live 11 July 2014 by loyd Mbiba

HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai has said he used to get drunk on £1 during his heyday as a mine worker.

The eldest of nine children, Tsvangirai was born in drought-prone Buhera, south-eastern Zimbabwe, in 1952 to a father who was a bricklayer.

After quitting school, he worked at a textile mill in Mutare, and later worked at a nickel mine in Bindura.

Launching his national youth assembly jobs campaign on Wednesday night, the former Prime Minister was nostalgic, recalling the 70s glory days when the local currency used to get him inebriated.

“When I was a worker in the mine in 1975, I was being paid Z$450 but those were equal to pounds,”

Tsvangirai recalled, adding, one could buy five beers for £1. Tsvangirai based his last campaign on an anti-corruption platform, reviving the economy and creating one million jobs in the first five years of his tenure, which he asserts is a long-term solution to the country’s insecurity and deepening poverty.

He lamented how times have changed, with Zimbabwe shelving its domestic currency and adopting a basket of scarce foreign currencies.

The MDC leader said the 70s were great years.

Takamwa doro tikange ticharutsa nemari iyi, (We drank beer until we felt like vomiting) but of course those were the old days, handichamwi zvangu (I no longer drink) but we recall those days with nostalgia,” said the MDC leader.

He was speaking at a forum where MDC youths were demanding the 2 million jobs promised by President Robert Mugabe during the election campaign last year.

Most of the youths in attendance have never worked and they listened to Tsvangirai attentively as he reminisced about the good old days.

“In 1972 when I went to work for the first time I worked in a textile mill which employed over 6 000 workers,” he said.

“And when I moved from the textile sector, I joined the mining industry where there were 70 000 mine workers.

“And when you look at agriculture, there were over 400 000 workers and I can go on and on but what I want to ask is, what has gone wrong?”

Tsvangirai warned that Zimbabwe was sitting on a time bomb and at a very high security risk if the issue of jobs was not addressed.

“Zanu PF should always understand that unless there is a new direction and a new policy thrust, this country is doomed and this country cannot even create one job,” he said.

“We need to change direction and we need to change the mind-set because we cannot turn around the economic decline without changing direction.”

He said Zimbabwe was not facing an economic crisis.

“Zimbabwe is facing a political crisis that is manifesting itself in economic symptoms that we face and those symptoms are poverty, unemployment, lack of dignity and all that,” he said.

“Unless the political paralysis is resolved, there is no way you can resolve the economic problems that this country is facing.

“First and foremost, resolve the political crisis and the economic benefits will fall thereafter.”

Tsvangirai also alleged that 90-year-old Mugabe was the main impediment to the country’s economic recovery as he has pursued retrogressive policies.

“You can’t have a leader who promotes personal cults, domination and privatisation of national institutions, corruption and all those things,” he said.

“In other words, unless we have a transformative mind, there is no way this economy can move forward,” Tsvangirai said.

“We are stuck with an albatross called Robert Mugabe, closeted at the state House and does not know what is happening around him.

“You are talking about jobs and he doesn’t feel there is a crisis and in fact at one time he told me that there is no country that gets broke.

“Can you imagine someone like him who says a nation can’t get broke? What new ideas can he bring?”

Tsvangirai said Zanu PF was finally conceding to the need for dialogue.

“I hear Zanu PF says let’s talk; some of us saw it from the very beginning that they are going nowhere,” he said.

“And if they are going nowhere, they have to realise that Zimbabweans have a right to resolve their political and economic crisis and I hope sense has prevailed in their old minds.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo this week said dialogue was possible with Tsvangirai, but first he had to drop claims that Mugabe and his party rigged last July’s elections.

50 thoughts on “We used to get drunk on £1: Tsvangirai

    1. The GBU

      @Andy even Mugabe knows that the standard of living in Rhodesia was better. That is not what it was supposed to be about. Joshua Nkomo once said “We are not fighting the white man. We are fighting the system.”

  1. Madlinduna xhosaboy

    Juxtaposing between two bad things,one of being degraded from full humanity and the other of being treated inhuman.Two wrong things in succession of each here,my next world president!!!But at least the first would get you drunk my president.Jeeeesus!!!

    1. Umwrong

      I had the misfortune of being told by an elderly Shona lady that it was better to be referred to as a k***** with a full stomach than to starve to death in freedom.

      Needless to say, I didn’t quite know how to respond.

  2. Petal

    One would have thought as a man aspiring to be president one day he would say buy a loaf of bread

    1. Dube

      Petal the context he puts it in makes a lot of sense. He was a young man earning $450. He uses $1 and gets drunk. If he was married on that night he say spends $3 because he is buying for his friends. The family does not suffer or feel it.He is not a Lawyer so he does not say to himself “be careful what you say or it might be used against you” He is just reminiscing on how life used to be. Bread Petal we used to throw away…if we bought a loaf we did not like.

      1. The GBU

        Dube we all know that reporters will always sensationalize what they write. People like MT will always be targets because when they talk to people they throw caution to the wind and say it as it is or was.

  3. Alexander Malemelo

    We need to here what our future leader can deliver.Why is the peolpes party fragmenting.

  4. Angela Wigmore

    Morgan may well have made several silly mistakes but I do not believe he is unintelligent. His speeches are factual and truthful and, like Ian Smith, I do believe that he genuinely wants the best for Zimbabwe and ALL its people.

    1. The GBU

      Spot on @ Angela Wigmore. How many youngsters during those days didn’t get drunk. They felt they were enjoying life.

  5. Africanson

    It is very difficult for Morgan to free himself from mental slavery. He decided to buy himself a brown bottle instead of a New Ventures in Mathematics book. Now he is still talking of Rhodesia of all the times. While others are talking about internet provision to villages someone is crying about how sad he is to miss colonialism.

    1. Umwrong

      The era to which he is referring was beyond the colonial period.

    2. Django

      @Africanson,if you are so thick headed to figure out that President Tsvangirai is only using nostalgia to compare the zanu economic ramshackle to the flourishing colonial economy then you are a dumb azz.

  6. supermondo

    zanu have been lining their own nest since 1980 the peoples welfare and the economy is the last thing they thought of.

  7. Kusvikazvanaka

    Kumuda kana kusamuda ini neshamwari dzangu zhinji tinoda Tsvangirai. Tinomuvhotera. Akawinner asiMatibili sezvamunoziva imbavha.

  8. LUCY

    Many people who whose lives have been lived in both the pre and post independence eras have had experiences good and bad. It is not acrime to admit that there where some good things in the Pre-independence era. We expect people tpo completely disregard the pre independence era as wholy evil but of course that isn’t true. The post-independence era brought with it some good but it is undeniable that the youth of 1980 et seq have not grown up to see the real fruit of independence,in terms of jobs, good standard of living and general security at home. It has been a lot of struggle.
    My Dad earned at one point $380 but amyself and 3 sibblings went to a boarding school and where never short of 3 meals /day. I do not recall a day without electricity or water.And there was a job for school leavers.

    Granted the political system was oppressive but a spade is a spade RGM and Co have undone what we had at independence, instead of building on it to improve the lives of all Zimbabweans.

  9. itayi

    What a disaster Zimbabweans have become. How can we ever disown our own past and be a proud people? What is wrong with taking pride with our past even that part which was under the colonial regime? My father that I am proud of was born and educated that period. Should I disown him simply because he was born during that dark hour of our proud history. This is distortion of the worst kind by those who really have no good intentions of our lot.

    Here is food for thought for you unthinking pretenders. Unfortunately you all love to be praised as the Switzerland of Africa. Yet Zimbabwe takes this Jewel of Africa status from the development that occurred during the Rhodesian era. When Mwalimu admired the country and coined it as the Jewel of Africa he was referring to that period when there was settler white colonialism. It is wrong to ever disown that part of history as it belongs to us Zimbabweans. In the 70s was the Wankie mine disaster when an odd 400 black people perished in the bowels of the earth extracting coal for industries, factories and the opulence of the country. I am not aware of a single white man who perished in that mine disaster. If there was then I stand corrected and I profusely and unreservedly offer my apology as much as I commiserate with all those that lost their beloved ones during that disaster. The 70s represent the sweat and toil of the black man and that is why we rejected white rule over the proceeds of our sweat and blood. Yes, indeed it was a proud moment for Zimbabweans black and white to work for the construction of their country. It was the only apportionment of the fruits of that labour that was in dispute as it was done on the basis of color. The smith regime represented that skewed distribution of the toils of our labour by usurping it favour of the whites. The current government is usurping the fruits of their labour which it redistributes among its cronies. That we condemned and took umbrage against as proud Zimbabweans. But we will forever be proud of the fruits of our labour. Do not allow those that are bent on destroying your legacy for their selfish needs ever prevail. It was your space please occupy it.

    1. JRR56

      Unfortunately there is nothing left to be a “Proud Zimbabwean”. Proud of what? A vibrant economy with fully functioning civil services brought down to nothing. A country that could feed itself in the face of all adversity, against all odds. Mugabe with the blessing of Zimbabweans has destroyed it all while “Proud Zimbabweans” looked on and did Nothing!

    2. zimsupporter

      I appreciate your comments; however, the horrible Wankie mine disaster in 1972 resulted in the death of 36 so-called Europeans, along with hundreds of so-called non-Europeans from then Rhodesia, Tanzania, Malawi, SWA, and the then Portuguese Angola and Mozambique.

      Please see
      and http://www.rhodesiana.com/archives/documents/wankie_mine_disaster_report.pdf

      My sympathies to them all, regardless of nationality or color(s).

  10. ngororombe

    I sometimes wonder why we twist theme of the hymn, for one to be able to assess progress there should be some comparison of where u are coming from and where u are going, the truth still stand, our economy acquired a deficiency syndrome from 1980 up until now that even a 4yr old can wonder what the hell is going. We should know the shortfalls of current gvt, what was life, the corruption levels, jobs, come on guys

  11. Technician Garisikai W

    must have been a pro to earn that amount by then. My dad a Secondary School during those days earn half that amount not to mention the farm workers pay…. if at all was z$20

  12. tino

    African son, please , in 24 hours, get a munite to be sober and remove the devil from your heart.Tsvangirai has just said what all adults are recalling.Those were the days, when a son goes to town and then get a job in a week”s time, then send money home.We all want that no matter which party you belong to.During that time, matumbu emombe were for the poor, now only the rich afford them.Mothers chose milk between chimombe milk and fresh milk, now they risk health by using unspecified milk.
    One thing about Morgan,bar his weaknesses, is that he has the ordinary people at heart.Not these thugs who when the nation is blessed with diamonds, they loot.The nation is blessed with agricultural land, they give each other.It is the common man who understands the house of the commoners.Tsvangirai treats Mugabe with respect,never call him names.But the ZANU supporters are overzealous,think that the economy can be fixed by ginya.
    True loving Zimbabweans in Mudzi, Mwenezi, Ndanga,Buhera, Gunikuni, Rarangwe , Mavizhu, Rupike , Mashate ,Lions den ,Watsomba etc will tell you that they want stability of jobs , food and security.Not stabilility in harrassment and torture

  13. Chitova weGona

    I like your way of thinking Tino. You really a true gentleman and you look at things soberly not some rowdy elements who think they own all ideas on how Zimbabwe must go or how and what Tsvangirai must say to them. They are used to being lied to by Zanu and then ululate! Those who have seen life on both sides of this country’s history surely will agree with Tsvangirai.

  14. Mixed race

    Things were better for Mugabe before because he could fly to his beloved England. He is a closet fan of all things British. He can’t help himself. He has stolen and has no sense of the common man. Every Zimbabwean should get a copy of animal farm. They are so ignorant of the real world. They deserve what they get. Vote for monkeys and you get peanuts. I am a proud African who we have been getting by our leaders since the beginning of so called independence.

  15. tino

    Chitova, thanks mwana wamai.It is all sober minded people”s wishes that one day we are going to choose food, not on the basis of prize and availability, but on the basis of quality.That is only possible with accountable leaders, who lose sleep by having poor havests, who lose sleep by one company closing.So soon brothers and sisters,we are getting there

    1. ngororombe

      Dust is clearing in our hearts of faith and very soon justice shall be won and we will be free from all toils with a Democratic leadership that we all long for

  16. Baba WaNgwarai

    kana freedom yacho tinayo vangani vanokwanisa kunyora mazita avo chaivo pano vakasaswera vateverwa nevakomana vemumwe munhu .ngwarai

  17. Siphiwe

    During the sixties and seventies the then Harare now Mbare was clean and well maintained. There were inspectors who mmade sure that the city was clean. Street lights was the beauty of those days. I remember those days my father would buy grocery with 10 shillings. Children used to be given stew after school at Stordatt Hall and Mai Musodzi. We had all sorts of activities in our communities. We had tennis courts, swimming pool, grounds for soccer and netball facilities and so on. People like George Shaya and most foot ballers of that time are the products of mbare. We had quality education that time. Schools were well maintained I remember teachers like Mr Job Wabhila who never had failures in his class. They were a lot of ties in his class. He was strict and would make sure that every class child would do his/her home work. Most of the children he taught have big positions in some companies and are well to do people. We made sure that we did our homework because (airova) used to beat the hell out of us. He was a teacher with passion. Mbare then Harare brought up bankers, nurses and teachers. Those were the most paid people that time. Their carriers were valued. Harare then City of salisbury had beautiful street lightning. You could drive at night without switching on lights. Simon Mazorodze was a beauty to drive at night with street lights on.

    1. Tsuro

      Highfields also brought up doctors, lawyers not these thugs we now see, products of ZANU. We now put burglar bars on our graves and outside water taps, for fear of ZANU products. We never used to have durawalls during Rhodesia, we only used to see it in Zambia and elsewhere. Nxa!

      What freedom is there when our very security is at risk.

      God why did you give us a hard hearted man like Mugabe? Hi..hi..hi..hi(Ndachema ndiriku diaspora, away from mother)

  18. Africanson

    Tino I don’t drink and I am always sober. I have the right to say what I want and how to say it. Its a free world. I am not a puppet of anyone and I don’t say what I say to please anyone mdc and zanu put together. Comparing colonial period and present day does not create jobs. I am not an economist but if you give your hero Morgan an equivalent pound he may find it difficult to buy the same quantity of his favorite beer today. The dollar of 1960 can not retain the same value today. Even a fool knows that our economy has gone to the dogs. It does not need your hero to gloat about it. Akizha yako mhani naMorgan wako iyeye. I am not a hero worshipper I worship God.

  19. Africanson

    He brags about Rhodesian, it those years gave him an opportunity to stay at Strathaven as a ternant, besides the opportunity to buy beer what else did he have an opportunity to achieve? I am not saying our economy is right but I cherish the opportunities that came with the destruction of Rhodesia

    1. Django

      Africanson,you are an idiot and so shallow minded, what opportunities are you referring to? Like him or not Save is the Man.

    2. MikeH

      The destruction of Rhodesia guaranteed the destruction of Zimbabwe. It’s as simple as that.

    3. War Vet

      Because you are benefiting from the status-quo, farms you have 10 dziri kurimwa mowadhongi chete

  20. tino

    Africanson, a foul mouth is always devoid of reasoning.Hurling insults only shows little capacity to solve anything.If you want to convince people, sell them brilliant ideas .Refererring to people as fools doesnt help anyone.All people know the 7Os were good.Even though it became clear that Smith was goint to lose the country to the black majority, his cabinet did not embark on a looting spree.At independence, Zimbabwe inherited surplus reserves in pounds.The Rhodesian government could have swindled that money, knowing well that their term was over.That was the money spend lavishly ,without meaningful investments for the economy.Willovale scandals, ZISCO,GMB, CMB, Dairiboard etc perished.
    You can read further if you research.Hatrade destroys.Lack of knowledge exposes foolishness like what you are doing.Can you explain how diamond revenue was used? If you call yourself Africanson, then I wonder the pedigree of the father.Maybe it was straight to Boarder Gezi from form 2

  21. tino

    Which GOD do you worship with such a foul mouth? GOD calls for humility. Its an insult to Christians for you to say you are one of them

  22. The GBU

    Africanson Whos job was it to create jobs? Robert Mugabe who has been ruling for ever. You HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE PROBLEM OF NOT LISTENING TO

    Africanson now you are clowning.”I am not saying our economy is right but I cherish the opportunities that came with the destruction of Rhodesia” what opportunities? To steal? The opportunities came because of the Lancaster house agreement. The moment it ceased what opportunities did you have? Unless you were Zanu???????????????????


  23. Dube

    It is amazing how a topic like this turns people into PEOPLE. Some of our brothers will equate if Zimbabwe was better than Rhodesia and vice versa. I dont even want to compare. Why should I? What I want to compare is the leaders of both era’s. Ian Smith saw that he could not maintain the status qua without causing more death and suffering. Robert Mugabe wants to maintain the status qua e respective of the death and suffering. On a scale of 10 to 1 Ian Smith 4 out of 10. Robert Mugabe zero out of 10. AND I AM BLACK.

  24. nyoni

    We all are weak and cowards. Others would be demanding a change of government citing a no confidence vote. This is normal in any sane country. Then again is this country run by sane people given the leadership?

  25. The future

    Why should Zimbabweans continue to cry over spilt milk? The past will never come again so look at the now and the future and harness all your resources if ever you hope to succeed. It is the world trend, today, that the cost of living has gone up and that the job market has shrunk. In the developed world/country where I live one could afford a trolley- full of groceries for $50.00 in the early 2000, but for the same groceries one has got to fork out at least $300. 00 today. Some unemployed people who depended on government handouts have been struck off the register! If you think that unemployment and a sky-rocketing cost of living are peculiar to your country then you need to do a bit of homework.

  26. E Makhate

    Lest we forget our history, someone should capture these comments on what life was like Pre Mugabe and during Mugabe. These should be incorporated into a history book. We cannot have a history book written by Zanu. In 1970, fees at a boarding school I attended was $15 per term. These were Rhodesian dollars!!! Believe it or not. As pointed out by Sphiwe, Harare Township was a gem. All teachers were hard workers. I recall starting Sub A being taught by Mrs Demadema in 1962. The School Headmistress was Mrs Whitehouse. She was a graduate although it was primary school. Standards were very high. Even Mugabe could not qualify to teach at Govt Schools except at some rural farm shool in Hope Fountain. Sad how the once great country has fallen. Here at 59years I am in the diaspora waiting for the Zanu to go the way of UNIP and Kaunda. Into Oblivion. Hi hihihihi!!!

  27. jobolinko

    Its the painful truth Rhodesia was only a colonial name of the same country,when it comes to living standards people were sruggling not the way it is now,zanu did not live with the times ,they did not improve nothing to suit a gowing population more cars on the road more rail traffic, more air traffic ,Rugare gumbo and his friends of the renewal team can say what they want about tsvangirai but that s the truth ,all these people who claim to be educated ,they did it during the Rhodesian times,As for others they came out of jail with degrees .The truth is always painful.

  28. jobolinko

    What did we do after independence to produce more from the land ,zanu took us back to begging ,a thing that was never known in the history of this country,colonial injustices and the economy is two different things,no one has ever said they admired smith times POLITICALY, ECONOMICALY AND LIVING STANDARDS WE ARE A SHAME TO BE HONEST, its the truth Tsvangirai only spoke history as it is i dont see the fuss about it Why is people like Rugare gumbo ask people what they mean when they say they independent but dont feel free,because they have to look over their shoulders every minute

  29. Doctor do little

    Very interesting reading. I might add that no matter about what was good then and what is good now the truth of the matter is we are being ruled by the most vicious dictatorship southern Africa has ever seen. Yes a lot of people are living it up. The only problem is that the majority are suffering. Those that talk about Rhodesia being better do have their point, in that nobody starved. Those that say that they prefer to starve rather than go back to Rhodesia need to realize that starvation is not the issue here. A Government that has caused so much suffering, pain and death like this regime has can never be a comparison to any thing. These people killed their own people. I don’t want to go back to Rhodesia but I will remember it as a time I never ran short of food. I can remember relatives from the rural areas bringing us amazambane, Amasi Amajoddo, amatanga and much more during the harvest. It was a time of plenty. Now you have a Government that dismantled all that and turned us into a nation of beggars. What I want is a country where all it’s citizens irrespective of color race or tribe have equal opportunities. Robert Mugabe, have you not had your revenge? Are you going to die a bitter man? Have you not hated enough? Do you not believe in God? Do you not hear the screams and the cries from the grave because of the misery you have cause? Have you no heart? Do you want to take all this hatred to your gave? All those who contribute to this debate I have to salute. You show a lot of maturity and I have enjoyed your wisdom All of you.

  30. The future

    I can’t understand how a party and its people who invited sanctions to their country only yesterday can turn around today and wonder why this and that has deteriorated. It is common knowledge now that the “targeted sanctions” targeted the wrong target that is why the ordinary people in both ZANU and MDC are squealing! Fortunately, the international community which had, hitherto , had thought sanctions would bring regime have come to that realisation ! Long live Zimbabwe, I wish well!

  31. So what

    So what Mr Tsvangirayi?? So what if you used to get drunk off 1 pound?? That was then! The fools in England dont even get drunk off 1 pound anymore. Whats your point??
    Nxx what a fool!!!

    Uncle Tom

    1. War Vet

      So What, Tsvangirai’s point is that things were better then though under economic sanctions and colonial rule, simple. Dont forget that the war of liberation was fought to fight the system. Its unfortunate that this is being manipulated for personal gains by people like you.


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