NEWLY-APPOINTED Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday heaped praise on President Robert Mugabe describing him as a fountain of wisdom and composed a new slogan in his honour when he made a brief stop in Gwanda.
Mphoko, who was on his way to see a banana plantation owned by a white commercial farmer in Makhado, was met by Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abedinico Ncube, government heads of departments, as well as Zanu PF supporters at the provincial administrator’s offices.
“I will teach you a new slogan, liyasazi isiphala solwazi – dura rewisdom (do you know the fountain of wisdom), wisdom is the prerogative of age,” he waxed lyrical.
“You can be young and intelligent, but you have no wisdom.
“But we have our leader President Robert Mugabe who is a fountain of wisdom, phambili ledura rewisdom, phansi labangasifuniyo (forward with the fountain of wisdom and down with those who don’t want us).”
Mphoko said he was grateful to God and to Mugabe for his new appointment.
“I feel so challenged with my new duty as all of you have different problems, but if we work together we will achieve a lot,” he said.
Following the Zanu PF congress, there has been frenzied bootlicking of both the president and the vice-president, as members seek to build alliances.
Mugabe has been the recipient of much fawning and each day party members are coming up with praises for the president, who turns 91 years old in just over one-and-a-half months’ time.
Mphoko said Matabeleland South is one of the richest provinces in the country endowed with precious minerals such as gold and diamonds that need to be fully utilised to enhance development in the region.
The Makhado farm, which Mphoko visited, has been under siege from neighbouring communities, who have in the past destroyed the perimeter fence and forced their cattle to feast on the bananas, arguing the farmer was denying them access to dam water.
The villagers have reportedly been doing so under the instigation of senior political leaders from Beitbridge who want to take over the farm and Mphoko’s visit to the farm yesterday was reportedly meant to solve the impasse, among other things.
“We hear there is a white farmer there who farms bananas plant and we want to go there and find out how he is doing it so that we can get some knowledge and do similar projects elsewhere,” he said.
Ironically, some Zanu PF members were purged for allegedly defending white farmers.
Provincial Affairs minister Ncube described Mphoko as a prominent businessman, a humble man and a revolutionary, who worked in Zipra’s high command alongside Nikita Mangena, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Josiah Tongogara.
He said after independence Mphoko worked in the government in the security department before being appointed to do diplomatic duties in Botswana, Moscow and South Africa.