By Nkululeko Sibanda
BULAWAYO – The song Lonely by American-based hip hop artist, Akon is synonymous with estranged lovers. They cry and wail over the departure of their loved ones, crying out to the world to sympathise with them in their time of great need and loneliness.
But on Thursday, President Robert Mugabe hypothetically sang the song, surprising all and sundry who sat and listened to his two-and-a-half hour speech to mark the official opening of the 12th Zanu PF annual national people’s conference. The conference, which took place in Bulawayo, ends today.
In his address, Mugabe told his party faithful he was now a lonely figure as his fellow leaders of the former ruling party had all died. Many in Zanu PF believe the 87-year-old leader now has to step down from office given his advanced age which makes him susceptible to ill-health.
Ironically, Mugabe’s statement came after he toured an exhibition that had been put together by the Friends of Joshua Nkomo Trust featuring pictures and paraphernalia that by the late nationalist, Vice President, Joshua Nkomo.
In the pictures were some of the country’s fallen heroes. “When I look around me, I realise that all those that I plotted the liberation struggle with, the founding fathers of Zimbabwe, are all gone,” Mugabe said.
“Ubaba u Joshua Nkomo, Umdala Wethu sewahamba (Father Joshua Nkomo has passed on). Baba Simon Muzee (Muzenda) has also passed away. Then you also have Joseph Msika, he has also left us.
“These were the founding fathers of this movement called Zanu PF. With them, we led a successful liberation struggle, a struggle that brought about this independence that we so much cherish,” he added.
“When I look at all these names, including some that I did not mention here, I then ask myself the question what about me. What about me? “I am here but all my fellow comrades are all gone. What does this mean to me as an individual,” Mugabe said.
He then chided some in Zanu PF whom he said were getting out of line and sync with the values his party. Mugabe said there were serious differences that had rocked his party, arguing that those divisions had cost his party and forced it into a coalition government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party.
“I really wonder whether we are still walking in the very same path that we walked in when we charted the course of liberation. Some of you have gone out of line. There are now divisions all over.”
“I believe if we had all been united under one goal, then we would not be having all these divisions. … We are in this inclusive government because of some of you who decided to depart from the liberation struggle values,” Mugabe lamented.
He also lambasted elements in his party who have used violence as a way of cowing supporters to vote for Zanu PF. “The point is why we are afraid of the MDC if we believe we have the policies that can deliver Zimbabweans out of their problems.
“We in Zanu PF must denounce violence. It is not a cure to our problems. We do not need it. Let us adhere to our values and principles. Let us avoid corruption. Let us be clean in our business as a party.
“These values are our greatest weapon that will see people own a new status as a happy people,” Mugabe added. Daily News
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