Mugabe Says Corruption in Zimbabwe’s Government Limited to a Few

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said incidences of corruption are restricted to just a few individuals as his government embarks on a crackdown on fraud in state-owned organizations.

Managers at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., the Premier Service Medical Aid Society and Air Zimbabwe have this year been the target of reports on fraud and inflated salaries in the Harare-based Herald and Bulawayo-based Chronicle newspapers.

“We want straight forward, honest people who respect government property, private property, property which does not belong to them,” Mugabe told thousands of his supporters who attended his 90th birthday celebrations in Marondera, 70 kilometers (44 miles), east of the capital, Harare. “The very few we would have entrusted are the ones who are soiling everyone’s name. They are the ones we are looking for.”

Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since 1980 and turned 90 on Feb. 21, spoke for an hour and 15 minutes at the event where he spoke about his health. Mugabe’s birthday celebrations were delayed because he was in Singapore for an eye cataract operation.

“I feel as youthful and energetic as a boy of nine,” he said.

At the event Mugabe received gifts including cattle, sheep and five cakes.

He also reflected on his role in Zimbabwe’s liberation war.

“At times I think of how I have survived over the years, escaping death, many of my friends and relatives have died,” Mugabe said. “It saddens me at times, but at the same time you are happy that you have turned 90.”

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