ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe has bemoaned the dearth of good morals, and implored the nation to rediscover itself.
Greed and dishonesty, he said, had grown into a national crisis as people in influential public and private sector positions opted for corruption. The President was speaking at the 80th birthday celebrations of his niece, Mbuya Petronella Nhetekwa, in Mhondoro.
The celebrations coincided with the 12th anniversary of the death of Mbuya Nhetekwa’s husband, Mr Paul Samuel Nhetekwa.
Said the President: “Pane patiri kupotsa mafamilies edu. Where have we gone wrong because it’s a pattern everywhere? You do a business then you must expect that those you put in charge imbavha, huzhinji wavo.
“Out of a 100 managers vari mumabusiness vanzi ‘batai, ndimi vakuru pano’, at least 90 percent of them are thieves. Zvaakutikanganisa kuti tiri munyika yakaita sei? Private sector, ku public sector, hazvinei kuti arikupi . . . mabusiness ehurumende or mabusiness evanhu.”
President Mugabe said workers at his dairy enterprise had fleeced the business of large amounts of money, resulting in the project failing to grow in line with projections.
“Ini ndakati ndavakutanga business redairy. Tanga tisati tasvika pacheese. Tanga tangosvika pamaice-cream. Chiona zvanga zvichiitika: hapana anotaura kuti mari takaisa pakati.
“Ava vanotengesa vouya nemari inongoiswa mutsapo, mainorongedzwa ichipihwa vamwe kuti, ‘Iwewe chienda kwakati, kwakati.’ Accounting yacho iri kupi?”
He went on: “Vamwe vakaita accounting dzizere asi havadi kutevera tsika yekubata business nayo kuitira kuti pasave nechinoratidza kuti humbavha hwavanoita hwabuda pachena; kuvanzuridza. Takatotora mamanagers eku Ernst and Young and zvavarikukudubura ipapo zvinotonyadzisa.
“Pane rimwe divi Mai Mugabe vairima mapotatoes panzvimbo dzakati kuti. Mapotatoes aita paye zvava kutengeswa; tsapo pavanowana US$400, youya vaakunyora US$40. Ko mumwe zero akadzimwa nani?”
On matters spiritual, President Mugabe said, “Where is our religion going wrong? Vanhu vari kungoenda kumachurch seavo vari kuenda kunoona vanaCaps neHighlanders vachitamba bhora . . . Kana vari kuenda vari pachokwadi kuti vave nekusimudzirwa hupenyu nemweya, nezviito zvechokwadi.” The President castigated promiscuity, warning that children born in broken families encountered numerous challenges.
It was better to be formally polygamous than promiscuous, he added. “Pabarika panoita kushushikana kwevana kwakawanda. Vamwe vanoenda nedivi iri pava nekurambana kwaana baba naamai.
“Vamwe vanoenda divi iri, vamwe voenda divi iri. Vana vanopazika pfungwa: otovera mai here? Otevera baba here? Kune tunonzi ‘small houses’. Aah, zvinotonyangadza! Kubva waakuona vana kana madzimai acho achiuya achiti, ‘Ndozvandikaitwa izvi.’ Hameno kuti hunhu hwedu huri kuenda kupi.”
President Mugabe advocated self-sustenance across all social spheres, including the Church.
“We must emerge as our own rulers, but we have done it politically. In other areas; we must be our own doctors, our own priests or our own engineers.
“Others will come and assist. They must not be the majority. We must be the majority. If you are not the majority there is something wrong. That is what independence means. That is what they call the right of self-determination. Tiri kuzviitira.”
President Mugabe paid tribute to Gogo Nhetekwa, whom, he said, was held in high esteem by his late mother, Mbuya Bona Mugabe.
He said Gogo Nhetekwa and Mbuya Bona, both devout Catholics, had shown integrity and kindness — qualities now rare among young people.
Present at the celebrations were ministers Walter Chidhakwa, Ignatius Chombo, Faber Chidarikire and Advocate Martin Dinha, and other senior Government officials.
Several Roman Catholic priests were also present.