A LEADING figure in neighbouring South Africa’s growing anti-President Jacob Zuma social movement has warned the country’s citizens not to allow their nation to be destroyed “Zimbabwean style”.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
Freedom Movement’s Prince Mashele told journalists this week that Zimbabwe represents a perfect example of a citizenry that allowed its leadership a free rein at destroying the country. He characterised President Robert Mugabe as an example of a “rogue leader.”
“When citizens get tired and get fatigued, rogue leaders do not get tired, they continue to destroy society. If you are looking for graphic evidence of what I am talking about, look at Zimbabwe next door,” Mashele said.
“Zimbabweans got tired, Mugabe did not get tired, he has destroyed Zimbabwe today.”
But MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said Mashele’s comparison of South Africa and Zimbabwe was wide off the mark.
“The South African scenario pales into insignificance if we compare it with the Zimbabwean dictatorship. Zimbabweans are known for their resilience but we are dealing with a vicious and brutal regime that can only be compared to Bashar al Assad’s Syrian dictatorship,” he said.
“If anything, Zimbabweans have been cowed and battered into submission. They have been forced to withdraw into a shell. Incidents such as the disappearance of (activist) Itai Dzamara two years ago are used as a reminder of how citizens can just disappear to instil fear into the hearts of citizens. Compared to Mugabe, Zuma would be Mother Theresa.”
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo said, while the ruling party did not want to be dragged into South Africa’s internal problems, Mashele was out of order.
“It is not our business to get involved, but the President (Mugabe) was elected by the people of this country and cannot be described as rogue. He (Mashele) is totally out of order. He did not play any part in electing the President, so we do not understand how he can then pass judgement on our leader,” he said.
Mugabe has been accused of running aground a once promising economy in his desperate bid to entrench his rule forcing millions into exile. Conservative figures claim that over three million Zimbabweans are exiled in South Africa.
“In South Africa, all over, you meet Zimbabweans looking for jobs, begging for food. Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Southern Africa, you will remember, but because citizens got tired when Mugabe started, look at where Zimbabwe is today,” Mashele said.
Pressure has been mounting on ANC leader Zuma to resign over allegations of corruption and state capture involving a family of Indian descent, with which the South African President is reportedly connected to.
“So, some of us take part in these campaigns knowing that we will never get tired because if we do, Jacob Zuma will destroy this country and let me tell you, your children and my children will walk with shame,” Mashele said.
“I do not know where they will go, because Zimbabweans came to South Africa, where will South Africans go if we allow Jacob Zuma to destroy this country. This is the only thing we have and we must protect it with all our strength and we must not get tired until we get rid of Zuma,” he said.