Liberation war leaders must step aside: Gumbo

By Farayi Machamire

Liberation war leaders should step aside without delay and allow new leadership of Zimbabwe whose political and economic implosion is worsening, liberation war icon Rugare Gumbo (pictured) has said.

Gumbo, who is now an elder in the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) having been kicked out of Zanu PF in 2014 on charges of attempting to topple President Robert Mugabe, said the country’s aging leaders were effectively stealing Zimbabwe’s future by clinging on to power.

“All I am saying is that we have a big problem, especially us nationalists, we are being accused and rightly so, that our problem is we want to cling to power,” Gumbo said during Arthur Mutambara’s book launch in Harare last week. The former Home Affairs minister felt the former liberation fighters were standing in the way of emerging leaders in the mould of the former student leader.

“…I want to state it categorically that is what is our biggest problem in Zimbabwe right now, the issue of power . . . what is happening in Zanu (PF) is also happening where we are . . . we fought for freedom and justice but that is no longer there,” Gumbo said, adding the lust for power had also cascaded into opposition parties.

ZPF ran into headwinds after its leader Joice Mujuru jumped ship to form National People’s Party following irreconcilable differences.

“Our weakness as leaders is that we want power, we want positions, we don’t want to advance ideas that bring about prosperity.

“Someone was talking about G40 and Lacoste, it’s all about power . . . no one is lobbying for the people’s needs.

“Yes, there is command agriculture, but we are seeing what is happening in the provinces, the inputs are getting to people late, some are not getting at all,” Gumbo said.

“So what we are saying is that our generation fought and brought independence but the generation that is going to take this country forward, it’s the young people, so let’s move aside and allow the young people to develop.

“I don’t believe as Rugare Gumbo I can effect any meaningful changes in this country.

“All we can do is to advise but in the process of doing that you are frustrated,” Gumbo said.

He added that the door was open at ZPF for young people to lead.

“My appeal to you, some of us we are not interested in power, we are not interested in running for elections . . . Some of us don’t believe that we went to war in order to empower other people; we went to war because of the oppressive system.” Daily News