War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa is not going down without a fight.
Mutsvangwa, fired from the ruling Zanu PF party a fortnight ago and still smarting from President Robert Mugabe’s decision to relieve him of his Cabinet post, now claims the veteran ruler’s ministers are stealing his ideas.
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One of the latest victim of the war veteran’s salvos is Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, whom he accused of “intellectual property theft”.
Mutsvangwa was reacting to the government’s plan to build new towns in response to the growing housing backlog.
“This urban development nonsensical escapade based on housing provision by government is outdated because in contemporary societies the world-over, towns are built upon factories and industries providing goods and services for local, regional and global demand,” he charged.
“Private sector and foreign investment creates jobs. Workers use wages to seek mortgages to build or buy their own houses.”
Mugabe last week told a housing development symposium in Harare that his government would deliver 300 000 houses or serviced stands to ordinary Zimbabweans by 2018.
Mugabe is already well behind on his promise to deliver 2,2 million jobs by 2018 when he made as he campaigned for the general elections in 2013.
Mutsvangwa said the latest move by government was a factional agenda that would fail.
“This G40 model is peculiar to their usual ignorance of how nations develop,” he said.
“No wonder the [Home Affairs minister Ignatius] Chombo-Kasukuwere stewardship of local governance has been a scorched-earth economic disaster.
“Imagine, no Zimbabwean has witnessed a crane tower hosting brick, mortar and steel to erect a skyscraper.
“It is devoid of any exposure to modern development praxis, they shamelessly snooped on my ideas and initiatives during my short stint in Cabinet.
“Now that I am out of government, they are pursuing stolen intellectual property.
“As is usual for copy-catters, they are regurgitating them as gross caricatures which will deliver neither development nor prosperity to Zimbabwe.”
However, Kasukuwere dismissed Mutsvangwa’s claims, describing the Zanu PF Norton MP as “an unmitigated disaster”.
“Maybe we will need to pay him a franchise fee if that is what he wants. If he claims to have started the project, why did he not see it to conclusion?” Kasukuwere said.
Zanu PF is split between two factions; one of which, G40, reportedly led by Kasukuwere and has been linked to First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Mutsvangwa is alleged to be part of a faction linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He said he introduced Mugabe and his wife to Chinese institutions and businesspeople.
“I was behind President [Mugabe]’s visit to the headquarters of this diamond conglomerate based in Guangzhou [China] in 2014. I actually took the Hong Kong diamond tycoon to meet the First Lady at Mazowe in 2012. Now they glorify and plagiarise my enterprising initiative,” he said.
“The same rationale applies to the urban development agenda. There just is no national future with myopic G40 agenda.
“I challenge them to an open debate on their witless development agenda.
“Ask them why they are focusing on houses when there are no industries.
“What is the distinguishing attribute between urban and rural Zimbabwe? Houses are all over. Factories are in towns only. That’s foolish.”
Kasukuwere has been dolling out stands to youths and mainly Zanu PF activists across the country, but critics have argued this is meant to be used as bait for voters in mainly urban settlements ahead of general elections expected to be held in two years’ time.-Standard