Mashudu Netsianda Senior Reporter
VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday took a swipe at the Bulawayo electorate, saying it was gullible and prone to being swayed by political whirlwinds.
The VP made the remarks as he distributed an additional 2 500 chicks to the Njube community in Bulawayo.
He said fly-by-night political parties have turned the city into their launch pad, taking advantage of the credulity of residents.
“Any politician who wants to launch his or her political party has a tendency of coming to Bulawayo first. We’ve the likes of (Messrs) Simba Makoni, Tendai Biti, Morgan Tsvangirai, Acie Lumumba and others who have turned this city into their playground because they know you’re easily carried away. In fact, they think you cannot do anything on your own,” he said.
VP Mphoko warned Bulawayo residents against falling into a trap of political parties bent on reversing the gains of the liberation struggle.
“People of Bulawayo fall prey to anyone who comes here to deceive them. They forget that this is a royal city. Don’t be gullible to non-traceable parties,” he said.
VP Mphoko blasted political rivals querying his war credentials, saying their aim was to tarnish his image.
“I’m aware that there are some people who go around saying I didn’t participate in the liberation struggle. I left the country to join the liberation struggle on April 4, 1964, and returned on January 13, 1980, together with the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. I worked alongside veterans such as Cde Ambrose Mutinhiri and we were Zipra commanders,” he said.
VP Mphoko urged Zimbabweans not to shun their country, saying such action was tantamount to undermining the sacrifices made by gallant sons and daughters who died to liberate the country from colonialism.
“We should work for this country instead of going to Europe and other neighbouring countries leaving Zimbabwe at the mercy of foreigners who come and do business here,” he said.
VP Mphoko said the on-going poultry programme was aimed at reducing poverty and bringing development to local communities.
“It’s our duty as leadership to make sure that communities are empowered. We’re donating these chicks because we want to economically empower our communities through this income-generating project. I’m not expecting to get commission from this project but we’re simply assisting our people to improve their livelihoods,” he said.
The chicks are part of the poultry project the VP unveiled last month. The programme which is anchored on the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, seeks to empower communities through utilising local resources.
VP Mphoko warned residents against unruly elements who he said were trying to sabotage the project. The project is set to spread to every part of the country.
Member of the House of Assembly for Lobengula constituency Cde Maidei Mpala thanked the VP for empowering her constituency. She urged the residents to embrace the project and work hard.
VP Mphoko will next Sunday donate another batch of chicks to residents in the same constituency. The chicks were sourced from commercial farmer Mr Peter Cunningham who owns Maleme Farm in Matobo.