Corruption: Bring the evidence, I investigate

Source: Corruption: Bring the evidence, I investigate | The Herald February 22, 2017

Gushungo @93: The Interview (Part 2) 

We publish here the second and final part of the interview President Mugabe had with ZBCTv’s Tazzen Mandizvidza ahead of his 93rd birthday. The President turned 93 yesterday.

TM: Your Excellency, let me take you to a different issue altogether

RGM: Yes

TM: Infrastructure is key to economic revival, which is what we are discussing here, we even have a cluster in Zim-Asset. We have a poorly maintained road network and we also have a struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe, yet this infrastructure is important. What plans does the Government have on the transportation and logistics front and at the same time if you could also update the nation on the Beitbridge-Chirundu project?

RGM: Yes, the roads are in very bad shape, but I happen to know the Minister of Transport on the basis of the offers by quite a number of companies, has settled on a company which he thinks we should accept to do the Beitbridge-Harare, Beitbridge-Masvingo, Harare-Chirundu Road. And this is dualisation we are talking about. That should be starting soon.

Maintenance, well, they have tried to do, you know as much as they could to keep the roads, the main roads usable. But, of course, they couldn’t keep pace with the damage that was being done by these haulage trucks and they have increased in number, Chirundu to Beitbridge, Chirundu to Harare so and in the opposite direction as well.

Yes sure, they pounded the roads and in some cases, the roads are in bad shape but I would like to believe that with the programme that the Minister of Transport, that’s Dr Gumbo that programme which he has announced to us, sooner or later the Beitbridge- Masvingo, Harare-Chirundu will be accomplished. He thinks within a two-year period. I think he was answering a number of questions in Parliament recently.

Then the other roads also, I think there are programmes for the Plumtree-Harare, Mutare-Beitbridge, Bulawayo. Those are the main trunk ones but there are quite a number of small ones in rural areas which they have been working on vanaNdoda and the one yakaitwa nana Chikore inonzi Robert Mugabe Road inovamba uko kuDarwendale ichienda kwaZvimba yoenda kuChinhoyi.

They have kept those done but they are usable anyway and I have my eyes on the infrastructure daily really. It’s not just roads, its railways but railways, I think they are doing something with China. Then airways they are quite advanced trying to get fresh aircraft and finance at the Reserve Bank are able to supply funds for the aircraft which they need. So I am of the view that over the next two to three years the face of Zimbabwe infrastructurally will change. However, the volume of rain which has pounded over and over our roads, and caused quite a lot of damage in some cases have made our situation more expensive than it would have done; than it would have been if we hadn’t had that damage but one would want to say well it’s sweet damage because we needed the rain anyway (laughs).

TM: Yes, Your Excellency.

RGM: So we can’t complain too much. The Almighty would say, if you were crying for rain, and I have given you rain so why cry now that your roads are damaged? Do you need to cry about that at all? You can take care of the roads. I’m not the Almighty and this is not the voice of the Almighty but certainly the Almighty has played his part and we thank God and praise the Lord for he is good. Eh, the other part of the question, was it infrastructure?

TM: It was infrastructure Your Excellency, I think you have dealt with that one. Let me take you to the issue of corruption. You are a seasoned campaigner against corruption but critics say it is only the small fish that are caught while the big fish remain in the water. How do you respond to that, Your Excellency?

RGM: Yah, if the small fish were real fish one would say, ah fine we are catching the small fish and the small fish have a tendency of growing big but you catch them before they grow big but it’s a human situation. I think there are the big fish, more of it has been talk, talk, talk and talk. People have not come out and actually said here is a case against a big fish. Here are cases against big fish.

We have a case now, we have the Anti-Corruption team. They are at cross purposes with Professor Jonathan Moyo. He says he thinks they are being political and that the funds they say he has used in a corrupt way, were funds that were requested some by the youths, others by women. By the party in general. Well, the case is going on.

But there are no cases, other cases you can point to of big fish having done this, big fish. Ah tongonzwa kuti nhingi ari corrupt, nhingi ari corrupt. Dai zvanga zviriizvo, perhaps the big fish might also be capable of hiding their corruption, I don’t know.

But zvinongotaurwa or are people afraid to come out and even come to us and say aah uyu kana kuri kuba ari kuba mari dzakati, we investigate that. Zvinongonzi big fish, big fish. And and you are saying big fish, too. Who are the big fish you have in mind?

TM: This is what critics say, Your Excellency, it’s the small fish and the big fish …

RGM: Have you ever asked them who the big fish are and what the corruption they accuse them of is? What is that corruption? What does it amount to? Hmm vamwe vanongonenera vamwe uku, kuti vari corrupt, vari corrupt, vari corrupt. Kana ini ndinongonzwawo rumour iyoyo. I have heard it. I can’t say I haven’t heard it, kuti ah vari corrupt, vari corrupt. Zvino ah kana vanhu vasingabude pachena kutiudza kuti this is what big fish is doing, investigate and you will get to the truth. I will investigate him, I will investigate but I don’t want just political attacks as it were.

Eh this one is a big fish. Uyu ari kupihwa mari nemacompany, uyu ari kudii. Ah vazhinji vanongonzarwo. We must be a clean party it’s very important. I don’t want to run a party ine mathieves and corrupt persons. If there is evidence, we will pursue that evidence and certainly we will deal will those persons.

TM: Talking of dealing with persons in the party, 2018 is just around the corner, is Zanu-PF ready for elections Your Excellency? We still have factionalism that you have been fighting against. Are going to see your big stick dealing with indiscipline as we go towards the polls?

RGM: Is Zanu-PF ready, Zanu-PF is ever ready. You know that battery which is written Eveready always yielding power. We stand ready all the time, but the issue is sure that of ensuring unity within us. The quarrels within the party, suspicions within the party. We are remedying those ones so it won’t us time to be in full gear but we don’t have differences that really can mar our participation in the party.

We have been at this game for a long time and we are not vanaZimFirst you see. It’s born in the morning and before sunset it has become something else. Hamenowo ivo Mbuya Mujuru ikokouko kuti zvavaka dzvamukwa kutizwa nanaDidymus Mutasa. Ahh ivo vari kuti ah ngavaende, vaiti ndirare navo. Hameno kuti ichokwadi here. Hameno kuti ikoko vananaMutasa (laughs) will shall there be a duplicity like you have kuMDC not MDC-T, MDC yaWelshman kotiwo Zimbabwe People First yaMai Mujuru and imwe Zimbabwe People First yanaMutasa nanaGumbo. Well, well, hatina, hakuna opposition, there is no opposition at all.

TM: They say Zanu-PF is infiltrating the parties. We have heard vanaTsvangirai saying the same vanaNcube, vanaBiti all those you have mentioned

RGM: Vachiti kuti isu ndisu tadii?

TM: They say Zanu-PF it infiltrates us and we end up disintegrated. Is Zanu- PF doing that Your Excellency?

RGM: I don’t know, well, well. Where have we infiltrated them? Have they given us the persons? Infiltration ka, is an act okay of getting your people clandestinely into their organisations. Infiltrate MDC-T? Kuti vatiti tidii hmmmm? Well, we haven’t done any such thing. It’s failures on their part, complete failures on their part and quarrels, of course, within them.

They are not as well organised as ourselves, as our party. No definite principles guiding them. Look at their press, day in, day out just attack on us, Zanu- PF, something about Mugabe, something about the First Lady to sell. So their organs can sell, but do they talk about our industry by way of policies that they envisage? Mining industry, agriculture, the utilities, infrastructure? What are the policies that they have in these areas of the sectors of our economy? Hapana.

TM: So Your Excellency you are not losing sleep over their plan to form a grand coalition against Zanu-PF.

RGM: (Laughs) A grand coalition? I don’t know. My teacher even ndichiri muGrade One, vaiti ukaisa mazero maviri haite two, rinongoramba riri zero. Kana ukaawanza ukasvika gumi they just amount to a huge pile of zeroes, nothing. So hatitye, ahhh ko inembenge yaitwa here iyoyo, you see, look at them if they want a coalition and they believe that a coalition can save them so why the dilly-dallying about it?

But now with Mai Mujuru apparently divorced, left you know in that situation in which she appears to be without anyone else who matters politically, Tsvangirai will say aah you are now only an individual and ini ndine party ka ini. And yes he has a party and my party cannot have a coalition with an individual. Iwe kana uchida uno joina uve pasi pangu.

I don’t know, she might have to do that perhaps to save her political skin but that will be the final blow to her political life, to go to MDC in toto. Now you can see kuti politics dzacho dzanga dzakamira papi. I suppose that’s one reason others left her kuti mavakutiisa kupolitics dzanaTsvangirai, tigorarama here neZanu-PF? Inobva yawanaka mbuva yacho yekuticriticiser election time. They are not even worth criticising now.

TM: Let me take you from politics to education. As a former teacher Your Excellency what is your view on the new education curriculum which seems to be stirring up a lot of controversies?

RGM: I suppose Cde Dokora wants some innovation. The ideas he has to improve, you know, the system. I don’t know, I would want to know why almost all the teachers elsewhere or most of them are opposed to what they conceive to be the new system but to us his explanations were quite simple he wanted first, don’t forget, he is the first one to want vana vane four years kuti vachiri kubva muma crèche vaende into the formal system and that meant of course working out a curriculum for them. But if it is as has been reported in the press kuti tavakuenda kuma Grades One upwards, the lower part, vanoita Science neMathematics in vernacular, I am not sure kuti curriculum yakare yaimboti chii, ende angaite masyllabus here eMathematics in vernacular kuti angaakwanise here?

Already, I am sure he is not trying to do a Swahili exercise on part of our system. Ukoko vanaNyerere, out of pride you see. They were very proud of their language, Swahili and they were saying why not develop our Swahili and make it the language in which the learning is done? The French don’t have to do you know their study in English they do it in their own language French, the Germans the same, so we the Tanzanians we should do the same. That was the thinking yanaNyerere vasingazive kuti, ah vanaFrance nanaGermany ndivo maoriginators of the learning and they had developed their systems over a long, longer period.

At the same time as their languages were also learnt by others in Europe. So whatever was their English saying, part of history, France could render it in its on language much more easily so could Germany and published books accordingly. But to cultures dzedu isusu, these studies are quite foreign to our culture. Not so kuVarungu nevamwe vano-share malanguages. They succeeded anyway kuTanzania but at expense, great expense of their English ability. They had managed what others had not managed, what they had not done and I don’t think Dokora wanted to start that.

Akaramba yekuti anonzi Ayatollah, akati no, beard yangu iyi ndakangobvira nayo kudhara. I cannot shave it off. Vamwe vachiti ah zvinonzi when you went to Iran ndokwawakabva wava muMuslim akati no I am not a Muslim at all. I remain a Catholic. Ah isu tanga tanzwa kuti watova muMoslem. Saka avakutounza chiMoslem kuti anoda some Moslem prayer, akati no he is not introducing anything like that.

Yah, yah education. I think our education should be open. It should be open tive ne-ability to absorb, you know, especially developments taking place in the ICT world and our curriculum, it should not remain backward. If you went to ask my boys to recite three times table or four times table, five times table, 12 times table vanongonotora computer, you see, whereas isusu taiita by head up to 12 times table sometimes sometimes to 13 times table uchiziva kuti 12 x 12 it’s 144. Zvino ava vakomana vanhasi it’s just computer. I don’t know which is better, but I think there is damage being done to the intellect by the gadgets. Too much of reliance to the gadgets; we want the gadgets to think for us.

TM: Your Excellency, from there let’s move on to regional and international issues and I want to take you straight to one issue where you came out strongly. You expressed your disappointment over the readmission of Morocco to the AU and you were there during the founding of the Organisation of African Unity. Have the founding principles of the OAU, have they now been ignored by the AU? Has the AU lost its memory with regard to this readmission of Morocco Your Excellency? What really is the issue here?

RGM: Okay, the issue is that Morocco was once a member, it’s a founding member of the OAU and so knows the principles, there were also the principles adopted in the Constitutive Act on the basis of which the African Union was established, you see and a member should accept the rules first and pledge to accept the rules. A member should not be in violation of the principles that are enunciated such as you know occupation. Yema boundaries, there should be a recognition of boundaries as set by our colonial masters otherwise a quarrel over boundaries would tear up the entirety of the organisation and so we just accept that these are the boundaries isu the Zambezi for us Limpopo but Morocco is arguing, has been arguing that Saharawi is part of Morocco. In other words, arguing that there was no boundary between Morocco and Saharawi Republic at all which is contested by the Saharawi people and then Morocco also says eh it’s coming, its readmission and acceptance of membership is on the basis that Article 42 of its constitution, I have not read it but it was being referred to by others, which says that Morocco would join the AU, rejoin the AU, eh, but this is on a basis that the issue of boundaries is flexible. That’s the article in their own document that they will regard issues in accordance with their Article 42, the issues of boundaries as flexible.

In other words, boundaries between them and Saharawi, a boundary between them and Algeria, the boundary between them and Mauritania, that they will regard that this, the question of boundaries is not fixed yet but remains unfixed which creates quite a problem and which is a departure from the rule that we should accept boundaries set by our erstwhile colonial masters. So it was a fact that the majority of the people accepted that Morocco could join subject to those rules and principles, you see, without subjection to those principles and rules but allowing Morocco to join and then the rules and the principles and the rules can be discussed after joining.

You don’t just join an organisation. Acceptance must precede its precedent, must precede your membership is not antecedent so isu takati no hapana organisation ingashanda nemutoo iwoyo. The OAU was not created that way, members had to accept the principles of the OAU and even the principle of not quarrelling about boundaries but there were only a few of us in Sadc who stood our ground; the rest of the members Francophone countries, apparently had been organised by Morocco, they said Morocco should join, be allowed to answer those questions later, that was the difference.

Kana uchida kujoina musangano unofanirwa kutanga wabvumazve, ose maprinciples acho kwete kuti ah ndozobvuma maprinciples e Zanu-PF ndajoina. So that was the nature of the principle, difference between us and the others.

TM: Okay Your Excellency let me take you now from that issue in Africa to America, the entrance of the new US President Donald Trump has brought with it some controversial policies so mainly driven by racism and the promotion of America first. Are we drifting towards racial polarisation in global politics or is it that President Trump is not understood and imimi Your Excellency were you surprised by his election?

RGM: I was surprised by his election but l didn’t like Madam Clinton to win either, you see, because I knew she had this ready with sanctions to slap sanctions on us as a legacy and indeed Obama just before he left, a week before he left, imposed his sanctions on us. Why did he have to do it a week before he left? To make it difficult for the incoming government to make its own decisions. So we are just now under sanctions imposed on us not by Donald Trump but by Obama. Just imagine that and what arrogance is that?

Anyway when it comes to Donald Trump, I don’t know, he is on the one hand talking of American nationalism, America for America, America for Americans. So on that we agree, we say Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans and any country will agree with him on that one perhaps but he is radical. I don’t know whether the construction of the wall between America and Mexico is feasible, is a feasible proposition. It appears quite nasty, I don’t know how the Mexicans will take it. I thought the Americans once loved Mexico, Mexico where, I don’t know, give him time, give him time, he might come up with better policies and even free us from this (inaudible) of sanctions which we have suffered from for so long.

TM: Okay Your Excellency let me now bring you to the 21st February Movement. The 21st February Movement is the celebration of President Mugabe and what he stands for. The youths look up to you Your Excellency but at the same time they have a list of needs which they have: Employment, housing and so forth. Now as we go towards the celebration of the 21st February Movement what message do you have for the youths?

RGM: We have no other message than we have told the youths they are part of us, we have a wing, the youth wing, and Cde Chipanga leads them and they have, yes, their requests, they also need houses, they need jobs, sure we will try to give them jobs and give them homes, it is part of our policies.

Industrially we must develop the economy with the youths but skilled youths yes and the youths must be participants. The youths form the greater percentage of our population and there is no way they can be omitted, you know, from all processes of development and transformation. However, we need youths who are educated and skilled as I have said, who are educated and provided with skills we will provide these skills in our schools, in our tertiary institutions. It is not just going to university, not everyone can go to university but those who will have managed to go the university, they should go to institutions where they can do diplomas, they can train and have given skills. You have skills that are better suited for women, skills better suited for youths, male ones and our system provides all those.

And so after training they can themselves not just be job seekers but job providers, job providers. We do not want just to see our youths you know being touts. Waiting in places to rob people of their money, no because they have no other way of making a living. We want people to be disciplined and this is why we also are insist that our party and the Chitepo College must intensify its programme of training our youths and giving them correct orientation.

But as we do that within the party they are under the wing yanaChipanga and I think Chipanga is doing very well in organising the youths and giving them correct direction. They organised, you see, that Million Man March which was an admirable success, something we had not had before.

TM: Yes, Your Excellency talking about organising things well there is a controversy over the venue of this year’s celebrations.

RGM: People in the south say there are better facilities there than elsewhere, and if we are talking of numbers then that is the right place, they have convinced some of us and I don’t see any harm. We have the names of Churchill and many imperialists, why should we just worry about a school named after Rhodes, but we are reconciled about it in the party.

TM: Your Excellency my last question is on football and locally which team do you support and looking at the performance of the Warriors at the just ended Afcon. What is your view on the performance?

RGM: Ah, I don’t support, I don’t support any team in particular definitely, but my boys support I think it’s CAPS, but I don’t support any. I support all of them, when I watch in the context of maybe Dynamos vs CAPS I say good luck to the winners and hard luck to the losers. You will do well next time to the losers. Soccer? I though you would ask me about the performance rather than which team I support.

The losing surprised me after we had performed that well, reasonably well against Algeria but also in that context I do not know why we couldn’t have managed to stick to the 2-1 score that was in favour of us, and we allowed Algeria to even the score towards the end of the match.

I think that is what brought in the loss of confidence, loss of spirit, hence the team became dispirited thereafter.

The next matches were they got 0-0, I never watched I was told about the results.

The matches will be played again in the future. So it’s not the end of everything but when you lose, in the context which you will have attracted the confidence of the whole of our Southern Africa, you have become the representative really of Southern Africa, then it must pain us. It must pain you because in a sense you have let down Southern Africa. But that’s to be accepted in sporting events, isn’t it? You win, you lose but, of course, you must not be losing all the time.

We must develop our soccer well. I do not know what it is we must do. On one hand, they say we must not interfere with the arrangements in our soccer teams we must leave it alone but, on the other hand, they cry for help to the State, help us. So which is which? If we are to help them we must also expect good results, isn’t it? Kwete kungoti tibatsirei. Tikakubatsiraika tinenge tichiti ibatsireiwo nekuhwina. But I notice VaGushungo vakumusoro uko, vakabva kuno, VaChiyangwa, vakapromotwa?

TM: He has been campaigning to take some of these regional posts.

RGM: He is up there. He is Southern Africa now, Cosafa.


  • comment-avatar

    absolutely nauseating.

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 5 years ago

    What it means is that, all shadow deals entered by his ministers, he hasn’t read of them, surely this man is living in a cuckooland where he is the master of deceit.

  • comment-avatar
    Chatham House 5 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    kuipa 5 years ago

    helluva lot of balloon! !!!! senseless interview…….bootlicking interviewer as well. very shallow.