The Sunday Mail
Individuals seeking to land leadership positions should display qualities that identify them with the people and be prepared to make sacrifices that drive national objectives forward, President Mugabe has said.
His remarks come as Zanu-PF is preparing for its Women’s and Youth leagues conferences next month, and a National Congress in December.
The President said leadership was not about personal gain but entailed sacrifice, dedication and hard work.
He was speaking at his Zvimba rural home yesterday during a memorial service and tombstone unveiling ceremony for his sister, Bridget, who died in January.
The gathering also coincided with the unveiling of the tombstones of President Mugabe’s sister, Victoria, and brother, Innocent, who died in 1994 and 2001, respectively.
“You need love with the family, love with the community, love that exceeds the narrow vicinity of village, cell district, province and other limits of the nation. Sacrificing, the struggle was about that,” said President Mugabe.
“That is why we regard those who dedicated their lives in order to free us, to give us the freedom and Independence; those who died for the country, worked for the country, sacrificing so that we live a happy life in this country.
“They were above those who say ‘I want my kids to live a good life’. They dedicated their lives for the whole country to be free. That is why we say leadership should be like that, dedicated so that we continue to empower our people, to continue giving them ideas so that they empower themselves.
“Giving them a good living, empowering them: that is what our leaders should do. If you say, ‘I want people to work for me so that I get a status in community’, you would have lost track.”
The President said true leaders should be prepared to make sacrifices, including the possibility of dying in defence of their country.
He said it was important for one to leave a legacy.
“Chinhu chakakosha ndechekuti munhu waenda, tsoka dzako dzawasiya, matracks ako anoendepi? Tichireva zviito zvatinozoti vana vanokwanisa kutevera.”
He described Bridget as a unifier and pillar of the family who promoted love, also saying she lived a charitable life and at one point sought to cut her education short and enroll for nursing.
The President said he was happy that she later discovered the move was unwise and went to university, dying an educated woman.
President Mugabe chronicled his early life when he had to fend for his brothers and sisters at a young age following the death of his father in 1945.
The President’s nephew, Cde Leo Mugabe, said the Mugabe family cherished his aunt’s love.
“You cannot cheat death if the Lord has made a decision. However, we cherish the love my mother (Bridget) had.”
Present in Zvimba were service chiefs, senior Government officials and Zanu-PF Politburo members, among others.
Bridget succumbed to heart failure after spending almost four years in hospital.
She was 78
By Levi Mukarati – Deputy News Editor