Ncube downplays Mugabe address

via Ncube downplays Mugabe address – Southern Eye

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s planned state-of-the-nation address tomorrow could turn out to a platform to attack Zanu PF opponents, opposition MDC leader Welshman Ncube has warned.


Mugabe presents his address at a time when his Zanu PF government is under pressure to turn around the economy and stop the current job cuts, which have claimed the scalps of over 20 000 workers since last month.

However, Ncube told Southern Eye that Mugabe’s address, last delivered in 2007, was unlikely to offer any solutions to the free-falling economy.

“One wouldn’t know the motivations of Zanu PF leader, President Robert Mugabe to address the nation. The leader of any country has numerous occasions to address critical issues facing the nation,” Ncube said.

“In our case we have at least two important days each year on which the State President has the nation as a captive audience to address the nation. That’s the Independence Day and the Heroes Day.

“Over the years these occasions have been used as days for divisive politics instead of unifying politics, platforms for ridiculing other national players and abusing political opponents.

“It is in this context that personally I do not think there will be any departure from the usual blame game and abuse of political opponents. It would be a dump squib.”

Ncube said ordinarily, during a state-of-the-nation address Mugabe is expected to give ‘a statement on government interventions to any unfolding crisis.

Last week, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu challenged Mugabe to use the occasion to publicly admit his Zanu PF government’s failure to address the worsening economic crisis.

Meanwhile, Ncube attacked State media columnist, believed to be Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, for making insensitive suggestions that the over 20 000 workers who lost their jobs under the current wave of job cuts “will be jobless but not necessarily landless”.

The columnist, writing under the pen-name Nathaniel Manheru in the Saturday Herald, also sought to defend the job cuts saying they were not perculiar to Zimbabwe alone as South Africa was going through a similar phase.

Ncube said it was ironic that Mugabe’s aide had admitted government’s failure to address the country’s socio-economic problems.

“You might throw the entire Zimbabwe 13 million population as labour on the land but if you don’t have cash capital you won’t produce anything. So the Zanu PF mandarins are failing to comprehend basic economics. We have always had land as a national assert,” he said.