AFRICANGLOBE – MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday received a barrage of criticism from furious Zimbabweans for saying he missed Rhodesian rule that enabled him to get drunk for a dollar or one Rhodesian pound.
The morally bankrupt MDC-T leader, who was addressing his party’s youths in Chitungwiza on Wednesday, said he looked back to the Rhodesian days with homesickness (nostalgia).
Zimbabweans said by pining for the Rhodesian regime, Tsvangirai who fronts a party that has a host of ex-Rhodesian security services man in its rank and file, had exposed himself for the askari that he is.
Launching what he termed “national youth assembly jobs campaign” on Wednesday, Tsvangirai said he missed the 1970s when one pound used to get him drunk.
“When I was a worker in the mine in 1975, I was being paid Z$450 but those were equal to pounds. 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,” Mr Tsvangirai said.
The embattled MDC-T leader made similar assertions while addressing his party’s supporters in Norton in May, where he said independence had devalued Zimbabweans.
“Smith left a surplus and then Zanu-PF began to loot, President Robert Mugabe never added any value to our lives, we were all devalued,” Tsvangirai said.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the statements showed that Tsvangirai belonged to the White colonial regime.
“He does not belong to Zimbabwe, but Rhodesia,” he said. “This is expected from a mentally ill person. You cannot miss a colonial regime that exploited us. His approach and outlook is colonial and there is nothing you can do about such a person.”
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said the MDC-T leader had a “depraved mind”.
“This is the typical language of an Uncle Tom,” he said. “You can free a slave, but cannot take the slave mentality out of him as on announcing his new freedom he timidly asks who is going to be his new master.
“Even after ocean cruises frolicking with hired love as the country’s Prime Minister in a free Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai still hankers for kachasu in a Bindura mine compound of racist Rhodesia.”
MDC Renewal Team spokesperson – whose camp is pushing for Mr Tsvangirai’s ouster from leadership of the fractured opposition party – Mr Jacob Mafume weighed in saying: “One cannot simply remember the price of beer and forget the suffering people endured under Rhodesia.
“We do not want to restore Zimbabwe, but renew it to the best levels on the values of the liberation struggle. What we simply have is a dispute with the liberation movement, Zanu-PF for not fulfilling some of the aspirations of the liberation struggle not that we want to go back to Rhodesia.”
War veterans’ leader Cde Jabulani Sibanda said at last Tsvangirai had come out in the open to stand for what he believed in.
“We are happy that he is saying it, that he stands for Rhodesia,” he said. “We have always tried, sometimes with pain, to explain to the people who this person is. He believed in a Rhodesian system that a Black person should not own land and cattle, should not go to school.
“He believes that whiteness is superiority and Blackness is a curse. That beer he is talking about, Blacks were not allowed to drink the spirits, but Bantu beer, masese.”
Political analyst Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri said it was tragic that Tsvangirai missed a bigoted system.
“Rhodesia had a legislated racial segregation law where Africans were seen as a lesser species,” he said. “Tsvangirai is focusing on the value of a dollar not looking at the whole life concerns such as economic freedom, the freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to participate in polls.”
Dr Mhiripiri said during the colonial era, Africans were restricted to the reserves while Harare was the preserve of the White invaders.
“It is regrettable that Mr Tsvangirai is failing to see the difference,” he said. “There is gross exaggeration by him not looking at life in a holistic approach. He is saying he was a better treated slave and celebrates oppression.”
Other Zimbabweans demanded that Tsvangirai vacate the Highlands mansion owned by Government because he is a sellout who after inviting sanctions still longs and glorifies the colonial era.
The Highlands mansion was bought and renovated by the State for Tsvangirai’s official use when he was Prime Minister during the inclusive Government.
The people described Tsvangirai as immature and a shortsighted person who lacked leadership qualities.
They said the MDC-T leader was longing for beer instead of ownership of the means of production which is why he is blind to the empowerment programmes being spearheaded by the Government.
Mr Nickros Kajengo from Harare rapped Tsvangirai for living in the old era where people used to glorify working for colonialists.
“It is not fair for the former Prime Minister to remain in the Government house when he does not appreciate the gains of the revolution that have been brought by the same Government,” he said. “The house can be used for any other businesses than to have a sellout living luxuriously in there, while asking for sanctions.
“Tsvangirai feels proud for having worked for the White people for material things such as beer. This explains why he is poor. We need leadership that puts priority on basic needs not material things such as beer, prostitutes and drug abuse. It clearly shows that Tsvangirai has no future plans for Zimbabweans.”
A Harare youth, Ms Ellen Mbwende, said instead of Mr Tsvangirai calling for the removal of sanctions, he was busy longing for beer and being exploited.
“It shows he is lazy,” she said. “He does not want to work. He feels comfortable staying in the Highlands mansion to the extent that he forgets how he got into the house. Had we still been in the colonial regime, would he have been sitting pretty in that house like he is doing?
“He longs for the days when people were exploited on farms. He brags about more than 400,000 people who worked on farms when now the labourers have been elevated to being farm owners through the land reform.
“Zimbabweans now have access to the means of production and many have made significant improvements in their lives as compared to the days they were labourers at farms. We have indigenous people who are successful in mining and farming among other enterprises.
We may have some challenges here and there but things will get better as we progress. We are under sanctions but we are sailing through.”
A Chitungwiza resident, Mrs Madeyi Takaruza, said: “Tsvangirai sees glory in drinking beer which shows he is immature. We have challenges with youths who are abusing alcohol, but a person who pretends to be a leader is promoting drunkenness.”
Tsvangirai has always glorified Rhodesia and made known his longing for White supremacist murderer Ian Smith’s rule.
Writing in his biography, “At the Deep End”, Tsvangirai said he was not interested in nationalist politics like other young men his age, but in the welfare of his family and that was why he did not join the liberation struggle.
“Politics aside, I was increasingly concerned about the future of our own family and my role in pulling them out of poverty,” he wrote.“After completing school, where I wondered, would I get a job to help my parents end the family’s humiliation and suffering, and what kind of job would it be? The only assured openings were in the teaching and nursing professions areas, I thought I could hardly master.” (page 31)
Instead of joining others to fight the Rhodesian system, Tsvangirai said he went to Umtali (Mutare) in 1972 to look for employment.
While others were fighting Ian Smith’s terrorist regime in 1975, Tsvangirai left Mutare for Bindura to work at Trojan Nickel Mine as other youths crossed into Mozambique to join the liberation struggle.
“I was now able to concentrate on my personal and professional growth and become actively involved in the Associated Mine Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe,” wrote Tsvangirai. “While I never held office in the nationalists movements, by following politics closely and engaging in trade union activities, my grasp of current affairs and the underlying issues improved enormously, as did my self-confidence.
“With a steady source of income, I realised that it was time to settle down and raise a family.” (page 55)
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