Why I snubbed Tsvangirai: Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe says he did not appoint Morgan Tsvangirai in his Cabinet because the MDC-T leader was a sore loser who did not accept defeat and had not congratulated the veteran leader on his new term of office.

EVERSON MUSHAVA, CHIEF REPORTER

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of ministers yesterday, Mugabe said Tsvangirai instead, chose to rush to make public statements, saying he would not accept a post in the new government.

“The issue of whether I could include MDC-T was a matter that could have been discussed by political parties,” he said.

“But the MDC-T refused to accept defeat and rushed to make public statements that Mugabe is intending to invite us to work together and we will not accept.

“What could I do? If they did not want to work with me could I force them?

“They were first supposed to accept that they lost, but were willing to work with us.”

There was wide speculation that Mugabe would offer an olive branch and include Tsvangirai and some members of his party in the new Cabinet.

However, Mugabe put paid to that by predictably announcing a Cabinet made up of only Zanu PF members on Tuesday.

Tsvangirai insists Mugabe stole the election from him, but avenues for recourse for the former Prime Minister have all diminished.

Mugabe reiterated his promise that he wants to see the revival of Bulawayo, which he recently described as an industrial scrapyard.

“Bulawayo was an industrial city and Harare an administrative city,” he explained.

“But things changed. We intend to restore the lustre of Bulawayo. We must bring back the industrial capacity and do much more.”

Turning to his new Cabinet, Mugabe, despite accusations that he had picked deadwood, said he was impressed with his choice and would not hesitate to fire non-performers who failed to put the interest of the people first.

“I am glad we have a team (full) of youngsters who will tomorrow, take over from us as long as they put the interests of people first,” he said.

He said the new Cabinet ministers were selected on the basis of their long service in Zanu PF and trying to ensure that all provinces were represented.

He said people expected him to deal effectively with corruption in the government, but it was difficult for him to act because there was no evidence.

“People expect me to act on corruption,” he said.

“They say so-and-so has emerged rich, has bought houses and is corrupt, without proving it.

“People are clever these days; they take loans to build houses.

“We cannot victimise people because there is an appearance of a person prospering.”

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