MUTARE – Independent presidential hopeful, Simba Makoni says Zanu PF stalwarts who are reluctant to come out in the open and support his bid to oust President Mugabe are letting Zimbabweans and the country down.Makoni told an enthusiastic crowd, estimated at 5000 that attended his campaign rally at Sakubva Stadium on Sunday, that those that continue to be with Mugabe instead of coming out publicly to back his candidacy were responsible for the continued decay of the country’s economy and the suffering being endured by the country’s population..“Those who are supporting Mugabe instead of coming out in the open are the ones killing our education system,” Makoni said. “The health system in Zimbabwe has collapsed; there are no teachers at our schools, no books and no chalks.”Makoni’s comments were seen as directed at ruling party stalwarts that have been rumored to be working with the former finance minister in his bid to remove Mugabe from power.Makoni is widely believed to be enjoying the backing of former army generals, Solomon Mujuru and Vitalis Zvinavashe, Vice Presidents Joseph Msika and Joice Mujru, Zanu PF national chairman, John Nkomo and other heavyweights.Only Dumiso Dabengwa has come out in the open and offered his support to Makoni.The rest have instead, through the official media, distanced them from Makoni and assured Mugabe of their “unwavering support”.Makoni told the crowd at Sakubva Stadium that the health delivery system has collapsed to levels such that if one is admitted in hospital that person would be assured of death instead of getting treated.Makoni said he was disappointed Mugabe was monopolizing the legacy of the liberation struggle that brought independence in 1980.He said the struggle for independence was a collective effort by thousands of Zimbabweans not one man. “I played my small part and others also played a part in liberating Zimbabwe. Now Mugabe claims he is the only person who liberated the country.” Makoni said Mugabe was misleading Zimbabweans into believing that he will reverse the land reform programme once elected into office.“ I said Gushungo, where did you get these lies.”Makoni said what he wants is to ensure there is production at the farms and that multi farm owners would remain with one farm.Makoni said he wanted to clear a misconception that he was being used by Mugabe as a way for the 84-year old leader to hang on to power. This, Makoni said, was being propagated by Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader and also presidential candidate.Makoni lashed out at Mugabe for lying that he did not do his duties properly when he was sent to Europe during the liberation struggle. “Our African culture teaches us very well, that Gudo guru peta muswe kuti wadiki wakutye kana kuti vakuru musafukure hapwa nekuti vadiki vanozozwa kuti inonhuhwa.”Addressing the same rally, Edgar Tekere, a former Zanu PF secretary general and Cabinet Minister, said he was disappointed Mugabe was hanging on to power when he should hand over the leadership of the country to a younger leader.Tekere said leaders such as Botswana’s Fostase Mogae, who came to power decades after Mugabe was already in office, were now leaving and paving the way for younger leaders.Tekere, a luminary of the liberation struggle, is contesting on Makoni’s ticket for the post of senate in the Dnangamvura-Chikanga, Mutare Central, Mutare North and Mutasa South constituencies.