President Robert Mugabe today said that Zanu (PF) is a military entity.
by Farai Mabeza
He was speaking at the National Heroes Acre at the burial of National Railways of Zimbabwe General Manager and Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, who was declared a national hero after his death in a car accident on his way from Harare to Bulawayo recently.
Mugabe, defending the appointment of military personnel to run parastatals, said Zanu (PF) was militarised from the time of the liberation struggle.
The 89 year old leader was at loggerheads with his former partner in the Government of National Unity, Morgan Tsvangirai over the dominance of military and security personnel in state entities.
“The life of the party…came from the armed struggle. So one should not get alarmed that people are drawn from the army and the air force into the civil service,” he said.
Mugabe said the civil service must reflect the character of Zanu (PF). “Whose civil service is it anyway? Isn’t it now of Zanu (PF)? Must it not reflect the qualities of Zanu (PF) as a fighter?” he said.
“We were troubled by NRZ and its losses and huge debts. We approached the military and asked the chiefs for someone knowledgeable who could help us with NRZ and they gave us Karakadzai,” he said.
Mugabe said Karakadzai’s efforts to resuscitate the rail services provider bore some fruit but he blamed sanctions for stifling progress. Karakadzai had been at the helm of NRZ since 2005. The company has failed to pay its workers for close to twelve months.
Mugabe scoffed at Tsvangirai for calling for security sector reform calling the MDC leader ignorant comparing him to a grasshopper. “It is disturbing when our detractors question the wisdom of deploying military personnel to parastatals,” he said. Mugabe also threatened to retaliate against western countries that imposed sanctions against his regime. “They think we are inferior. They should not continue to harass us. We are treating their people well. They will come a time when we will lose our patience,” he said.
He threatened that he would introduce “tit for tat” measures. The United States has already said that its sanctions against Mugabe and his associates would remain because it did not believe the outcome of the July elections reflected the will of the people.
“They should not continue to treat us the way they have treated us in the past. Our attitude will not continue to be what it has been in the past, passive. Enough is enough,” he said.
Britain, the European Union and Australia still have restrictive measures in place against Mugabe.
The Zanu (PF) leader also castigated people in Harare and Bulawayo for voting the MDC. “Go and get what you voted for,” he said.