Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
President Mugabe yesterday denied reports in the private media that he is afraid of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and warned them that Government would not hesitate to take action against those abusing their journalistic privilege.
He said this while officiating at a luncheon hosted by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the occasion of the official opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament.
“We would want freedom, we want people to make money. You might not share my politics and I might not share your politics, but it doesn’t mean we are enemies. You may criticise me where I go wrong sure, but don’t give me sins I haven’t committed.
“Offences I haven’t committed. Actions I haven’t done and thoughts I haven’t entertained in my mind. Even my thinking, aah hanzi wakuzotya nhingi, ivo mai vedu mai Mujuru ava? Vakazviparira, vakakanganisa takavaranga chete tichiti apa makakanganisa. But vava kubva vanzi zvino hee ndivo zvino vakusimudzwa vachiiswa pamusoro apo.
“Kuti vadii? Kana vachiita politics ngavaiite politics dzavo. Iko zvino vakurwiswaniswa naVaMugabe. Aah, changu chibhakera ichochi? Vana Ian Smith vari kupi?
“Zvino kuti nditwasanure ndichirova Mai Mujuru chibhakera chainzi nehanzvadzi yangu Sabina, chematsenganzungu, aiwa hatidi kuti tirovane chibhakera chematsenganzungu. Shaya dzedu regai dzitsenge nzungu zvakanaka,” he said, drawing laughter from guests at the event.
“The newspapers are saying I am afraid of Mrs Mujuru, why? She went against party regulations and was fired but she is now being elevated to a higher position? What has she achieved? I don’t have time to waste fighting her.”
The former VP was fired for leading a putschist cabal that plotted to unconstitutionally remove President Mugabe ahead of the 6th Zanu-PF National People’s Congress.
She is reportedly leading the imaginary so-called People First movement and last week released a manifesto that was widely condemned as a regurgitation of Western countries-influenced policies that have been rejected by Zimbabweans.
President Mugabe had earlier implored journalists to report truthfully, warning that Government would not hesitate to take action against those abusing their privileges.
“Let us, wherever we are employed do our best. Even if you are journalists, tell the truth and do not live on lies. Aah vaMugabe vazotya nhingi, nhingi wazotya nhingi! Aah, vakomana! Do you live on that? Formulating stories so that people can fight each other chete? That is very poor journalism.
“You are thinking everyday how you can excite people who read so that they can buy your paper. No. The journalism we are experiencing is not the journalism we expect. If we begin to take control now, rigid control, people should not then cry foul. Zvanyanya zvenhema,” President Mugabe said.
The Head of State and Government also condemned corruption saying people should not abuse the authority they are entrusted with to enrich themselves.
“We find ourselves in the private sector, you own a company. We find ourselves in Government, in a particular ministry, local government in councils.
“Do we realise that we are in those situations of power in order for us to fend for others and not just for us? Sure for us in the first place, but the jobs we are doing must benefit others as well. Do we have the integrity, the virtue of honesty, the virtue of love, the virtue of recognising that those I work for are also sons of the soil like me, I dare not cheat them, I dare not steal from them, I dare not rob them or breaking into their houses?” President Mugabe said.
President Mugabe described corruption as a brutal practice and bemoaned the increase in the number of people abusing their positions for selfish reasons.
“Stealing from others is equally brutal; corruption is equally brutal even those who are educated, the accountants using the pen to steal. What is happening to our country? You start a bank and people put their money and they deposit, they save with your bank and you do not hesitate to take that money and make it yours, muchigovana henyu pahukama hwenyu? What do you think the people will say when tomorrow they want their money and you can’t give it to them?” President Mugabe asked.
The President also condemned top managers at various institutions especially public enterprises who are paying themselves salaries at the expense of the public they should save.
President Mugabe also condemned land barons that have duped unsuspecting members of the public through illegally selling state land adding Government was now putting measures to restore sanity in the provisions of housing.
Turning to the increase in the prevalence of cases of sexual abuse of women, President Mugabe said Government was seriously considering castration as a punishment for men who perpetrate the crime.
“What sort of men have we become, raping our babies in some cases your own? What has entered this house of freedom, the Zimbabwe house of freedom? We are saying to our own people, we in Government, let’s teach our men how to behave and have good character.
“We have said to the police arrest them, but it seems not to be working so what shall we do to them? They don’t heed the chiefs, the Government or the police. They have remained defiant so what shall we do to them? In Sharia law they say if you steal, the hand must go. So if you rape what must go?” he said to laughter from the parliamentarians and officials who attended the luncheon.
“You might take it (castration) as a laughing matter because we are considering it seriously. Don’t say VaMugabe is becoming cruel because we want to protect our women. So men, take care,” President Mugabe said.
The luncheon is a traditional event held after the opening of a parliamentary session and was attended by ministers, deputy ministers, senior Government officials, legislators and diplomats.