President Mugabe in process of forming new Govt
Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Herald
August 27, 2008

PRESIDENT Mugabe is in the process of forming a new Government.

Addressing dignitaries attending a lunch hosted by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, Cde Ignatius Chombo, to mark the official opening of the First Session of the Seventh Parliament, President Mugabe said:

"We shall soon be setting up a Government. The MDC does not want to come in apparently. This time they have been promised by the British that sanctions would be more devastating, that in six months’ time the Government will collapse," he said.

"I do not know when that day will come. I wish Tsvangirai well on that day," he said.

The President said he was going to appoint Cabinet ministers who can manage the business of the people.

"I need managers. I want workers — people who take people to work. I do not want people with own businesses. I want one business — the people’s business," he said to applause from the dignitaries who included traditional leaders, Government employees, business people and service chiefs.

He said Cabinet ministers who own businesses should employ other people to manage their business while they attend to the business of the people.

Cde Mugabe criticised some ministers in the outgoing Cabinet. "This Cabinet that I had was the worst in history. They look at themselves. They are unreliable, but not all of them," he said.

Cde Mugabe attacked the spirit of individualism and the tendency to undermine others saying some leaders were more interested in personal gain.

Cde Mugabe said Zanu-PF had lost some votes in the March 29 harmonised elections because some of its members worked against the party.

"Let’s be united. Let’s not be destroyers of our party. We have destroyed part of it. Now that we have survived, let us ensure the party is strengthened," he said.

Cde Mugabe attacked corrupt leaders saying he was receiving reports that some of them were diverting maize meant to feed the people to the black market and to Mozambique, giving as an example reports of a senior official who was caught diverting maize in Matabeleland North.

"The people are suffering and you want to exploit the poverty of the people. Let us police each other," he said.

Cde Mugabe said it was baffling that Zimbabwe had to import some products that were manufactured locally like sugar. Zimbabwe produced up to 400 000 tonnes of sugar and consumed about 150 000 tonnes a year but still had to import.

The President said the middle class was exploiting the lower class by illegally dealing in gold and other precious metals and stones.

Cde Mugabe said judging by the number of new cars on the roads, some of which included the latest models, it was surprising to note that Zimbabwe was regarded as poor.

He advised newly resettled farmers to reserve land for maize, sorghum and rapoko to ensure that the country did not starve.

Cde Mugabe also talked about relations with other countries within the region and beyond saying the manner in which Zimbabwe relates to its neighbours should be reciprocated noting that no country within Sadc should dictate what others should do.

He said it was imperative that the spirit of Sadc should be kept alive and that he had told South African President Thabo Mbeki that he would never at any time speak ill of an African country in public to please the Americans and British.

Cde Mugabe said he preferred face-to-face criticism.

He said the British and Americans had visited all Sadc Heads of State to influence them to speak ill about Zimbabwe ostensibly because of the land issue.

Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika, Cde Mugabe said, was the only one who had come out in the open telling him of the British and US machinations to denounce Zimbabwe.

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe was not averse to doing business with the British, but was not amenable to being commandeered to do things against its wishes hence he had told former British prime minister Mr Tony Blair to keep his England while he concentrated on Zimbabwe.

He said the West had also approached some of Zimbabwe’s friends and influenced them not to trade with the country.

In some instances shipments of goods paid for by Zimbabwe had been seized while in some cases payments meant for procuring goods from Europe and America were frozen.

Cde Mugabe congratulated the Zimbabwe Olympic team for doing well in Beijing and urged the nation to give the team a resounding welcome.

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