7 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Blasts 'Stupid' Gwede Mantashe, South Africa-Again!

President Robert Mugabe has once again lashed out at the South African leadership for failing to deliver economic freedom, dismissing complaints on his comments by the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, as "stupid".

Mugabe said this as he was meeting local business leaders for the first time in ten years.

His comments come after Mantashe on Tuesday told the media in Johannesburg that he had lodged a formal complaint with Zanu PF for Mugabe to stop making "unwarranted and unfortunate attacks" on Mandela.

Mantashe accused Mugabe of destroying his country's economy.

"The reality of the matter is that you have destroyed the economy of your country," Mantashe said during a press conference at the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House.

However while Zanu PF officials remained mum on the issue Mugabe used his meeting with business executives at State House on Thursday to rubbish Mantashe's comments.

Mugabe first told the business leaders that Zimbabwe must not be controlled by whites.

"The country was liberated. Must we continue to depend on whites to set up the companies?" Mugabe said.

He then, once again, took a dig at South Africa, for the third time inside a month, saying the ANC had only delivered political freedom but left the economy in the hands of whites.

"I made comments about South Africa and then Gwede Mantashe stupidly reacts. They (South Africa) fought only to remove apartheid. Ours was just not political freedom," Mugabe said.

This time around, though, Mugabe stayed clear of making any reference to Mandela whom he, last week, blamed for letting down black people.

Mugabe sees himself as a champion of black people's rights following his seizure of land from whites in 2000. His wife Grace last week claimed that Mugabe was a "prophet" for other African leaders.

While his policies have been blamed for bringing the Zimbabwean economy down to its knees, Mugabe has refused to change course. On Thursday, true to form, Mugabe once again railed against foreign ownership of businesses.

That was after the executives had told Mugabe that Zimbabwe was in need of "comprehensive reforms" to attract investment, end cash shortages and stave off rising inflation.

A 4000-word document presented to Mugabe at State House proposed a range of reforms that the executives said were necessary for Zimbabwe to come out of its current crisis.

"Comprehensive structural reforms are required to sustain medium term growth of the economy, in terms of both macro-economic and structural as well as sectoral policies," says the proposal.

"These reforms would be, especially designed with special focus on reducing the cost of doing business - Zimbabwe is currently among the countries with the highest cost of doing business in the region and there is need to address the cost of doing business."

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