“Mugabe hasn’t done these things alone. I place more responsibility for the condition of our country on the people around Robert Mugabe than on Mugabe himself. If the rest of us – and I include myself in this – had put our foot down and said, ‘President, we must do land reform but not this way, we must do empowerment of the people of Zimbabwe but not this way,’ I don’t think that singlehandedly Mugabe would have done it,” said Makoni.
Makoni who was interviewed by a British newspaper, the UK Guardian on Sunday said “I clearly regarded him as a hero, someone to look up to, I had a sense of what kind of a character he was. Definitely the hero, definitely the people’s leader, very committed and at that time genuine about the
welfare of the people.”
Makoni also said he was not sure if Mugabe regretted the infamous Matebeleland massacres commonly known as Gukurahundi.
“I am quite sure that even as Gukurahundi was taking place, there was a lot of pain in Robert Mugabe’s heart, if I think back to
conversations we had at the time. But then again, it could have been crocodile tears,” said Makoni.
Contacted by Radio VOP, Makoni said the inclusive government had failed.
Makoni, a former Zanu (PF) politburo member before his dramatic resignation from the party in 2008, said the country needed a broad-based dialogue that cuts across political divides.
Makoni who came a distant third in the first round of Presidential election in 2008, said: “I encourage Zimbabweans not to give up on themselves, the failings of the coalition government should not discourage them to continue looking for a lasting solution to the crisis facing the country currently,” Makoni told Radio VOP in a telephone interview.
“We should not believe that the coalition arrangement is the only solution available. Now that it’s failing we need genuine engagement of
citizens across sectors without confining ourselves to a few political parties.”
Makoni said issues such as the indigenisation drive currently being pushed by the Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, should be discussed with the active participation of the business sector and not to be left to politicians alone.
Turning onto the 30th Independence anniversary of the country, Makoni said there wasn’t much to celebrate.
He said there was a serious need for leadership change in his former Zanu (PF) party.
“We need leadership that will lead us to the ideals of the original struggle not the practise of the current crop of leaders who only think about themselves,” said Makoni.