Friday, October 29, 2010

Zimbabwe President Tells Traditional Leaders to 'Be Your Own Bosses'

Be your own bosses, President tells nation

From Michael Chideme in Kariba
Zimbabwe Herald

Traditional leaders should be at the forefront of freeing Zimbabweans from mental colonisation and disabusing the nation of the belief that only whites are capable of owning the means of production, President Mugabe has said.

Addressing the national annual Conference of Chiefs here yesterday, the President said he was disturbed by the number of educated Zimbabweans who still espoused the virtues of white supremacy.

The chiefs in turn declared their support for President Mugabe’s principles and values, and declared he was the best person to lead Zimbabwe now and in the future.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Zimbabwe had thousands of medical doctors, engineers, geologists, ecologists, academics and other professionals but still relied on Western advice.

"Ko chawakamboendera kuchikoro chii? Get together and run those mines and industries for yourselves and for your people.

"You want to be CEO for who? For Rio Tinto, De Beers? Be CEOs for yourselves . . .

"We have people who are not liberated yet. They are well-educated, but not liberated intellectually.

"Vamwe vanotokundwa nanasekuru vari kumaruzevha. They are more liberated than the engineers," he said.

The President said Zimbabweans should appreciate their intellectual capacity and take over the management of the economy.

"Ideas must come from ourselves. Varungu havambofa vakakupai ma-ideas okuti muzvitonge fully.

"Vanokupai maideas okuti varambe vari mamasters. Listen to the stupidity from Britain and America.

"They say we have not done much in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement. Who are you damn fools?

"Munei neGPA yedu? . . . Sevarungu they come to us and semafuza tinomhanyira ikoko."

He said Westerners were free to come and invest in Zimbabwe, but should never come here as masters.

"We are masters of our destiny. If the British want to be in business, they are welcome not as masters anymore.

"The British sun never rises here. It is the Zimbabwean sun that rises and sets here . . . I ask you chiefs to help us because some of your learned children do not understand," he said.

President Mugabe said it was the traditional leaders’ duty to instill a spirit of independence and self-dependence among their subjects.

He said his Government respected traditional leaders and had never denied them an opportunity to contribute to the economic, social and political development.

"Varungu ndivo vaida kuti musapinda mupolitics. Vazhinji venyu taishanda nemi (during the liberation struggle).

"Ivhu iri harisi remapoliticians chete. Upfumi hausi hwemapoliticians chete. Rusununguko rwakauya rusingasiye madzishe.

"We wanted all to say Zimbabwe is mine. Saka madzishe hamungasarire shure. Hamungasarire shure pakuidzivirira," he said.

President Mugabe said traditional leaders were free to criticise Government and Zanu-PF and contribute to national development.

He promised to look into traditional leaders’ grievances, the majority which affect the welfare of the people they lead.

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said Government had bought 28 vehicles for traditional leaders.

Eight of them were handed over yesterday while the other 20 will be collected in Harare.

He said all traditional leaders who got vehicles in 2004/2005 would from next year receive twin-cab replacements.

Earlier, the chiefs expressed confidence in President Mugabe’s "selfless" and "virtuous" leadership.

The chiefs said Government should establish a team of traditional leaders to lobby Western leaders to remove their illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira said President Mugabe should remain in office.

"We will be very happy if you continue at the helm. We are happy with your programmes. If you are here we know that Zimbabwe will continue developing," he said.

A member of the national Chiefs’ Council, Chief Dastar Chisunga of Mbire, said their consultations had shown the traditional leadership backed President Mugabe’s leadership because he always worked to empower the people.

"He is a selfless leader. He champions the people’s aspirations. We support President Mugabe. We are happy with his empowerment drive.

"We endorse his leadership. The people should endorse a leadership that carries their aspirations," he said.

He said in the last elections people digressed because of the crippling effects of illegal sanctions.

Chief Musarurwa from Chikomba said traditional leaders view President Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s ordained leader.

He said Zimbabwe should expect another leader after President Mugabe’s death.

"God will ordain another leader for us. He is like Munhumutapa. God ordained him to lead Zimbabwe like he ordained Moses to lead the Israelites."

Chief Musarurwa said the issue of chiefs distancing themselves from national politics was a non-starter because traditional leaders were at the forefront of anti-colonialism.

"We are not part of the Global Political Agreement," he added.

Chief Cyprian Malisa from Silobela said: "Give him (President Mugabe) time to finish his task. He might be physically old but his brains and ideas are still very fresh. We want our mineral wealth to help pay civil servants salaries."

Chief Mbaimbai Chiduku of Rusape said Government should set up a team of traditional leaders to meet Queen Elizabeth II and other European leaders to lobby for the removal of sanctions.

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