By Bridgette Bugalo
Former cabinet minister and MDC renewal team chairperson Samuel Sipepa Nkomo on Friday described President Robert Mugabe as a brilliant and astute leader.
Speaking during a roundtable discussion in Bulawayo organised by the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) held under the theme: Unpacking The 2015 National Budget, Nkomo said Mugabe was a real leader amongst many.
“In my experience working with the president, that man called Robert Gabriel Mugabe is brilliant, he knows what he is doing, he strategises and he is a planner,” he said.
“You cannot lie to him and he cannot be cheated. He may be sitting there and you think he is sleeping but no, he is attentive, alert and a good listener.”
Nkomo was Water, Resources Development and Management minister and a member of parliament under the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai during the government of national unity which ended last year.
This year Nkomo broke away from the MDC-T aligning himself to a new establishment by the name MDC renewal team which intends to join forces with another breakaway MDC party led by Welshman Ncube.
“If ministers brief him (President Mugabe) and change their statements in cabinet, he will quickly say: ‘No, this is not what you told me prior to this meeting’,” he said. “Mugabe is a brilliant leader although I still think it is important for us to have change for the purposes of growth. For instance, all the spheres of our lives require change for growth, recently, BancAbc changed management, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe got a new governor and we also want that in politics, which is why in our parlance we call it renewal,” he said.
Turning to problems facing the economy, Nkomo said unless there was a drastic revolution, there was no way the country’s industry could be stimulated.
“Eighty-one percent of the country’s revenue is allocated to civil servants numbering at least 230 000 and continue to increase because police, army recruits join the civil service annually and maybe biannually.
“We continue in hope that this could be controlled because it simply means our priorities are upside down so until we get a reduced salary bill we will continue to suffer yet we can experience change,” he said. The Zimbabwe Mail