ACTING PRESIDENT Phelekezela Mphoko has taken his colleague Emmerson Mnangagwa head on accusing him of disrespecting President Robert Mugabe’s authority and promoting tribal tensions for political expediency.
This comes after Mnangagwa, addressing a gathering last Saturday at the memorial of the late Gutu senator Shuvai Mahofa, made a U-turn saying he was poisoned.
“I was not around when she passed on but what happened to her in 2015 in Victoria Falls also happened to me in Gwanda,” Mnangagwa was quoted saying.
Mnangagwa’s latest remarks contradict his earlier claims and those of Mugabe regarding the illness which resulted in him being airlifted to South Africa for treatment.
Mugabe, during the Gweru interface rally held beginning of September, claimed that Mnangagwa’s doctor told him the illness was not a result of poisoning.
A day earlier, Mnangagwa had also issued a statement dismissing allegations that he fell sick after eating an ice cream from Gushungo dairy, a company owned by Mugabe’s wife, Grace who is associated with the Generation 40, a Zanu PF faction.
The two vice presidents allegedly belong to rival camps within Zanu PF, the G40 and Lacoste respectively, which are fighting to succeed the 93-year-old leader who had led the country since independence in 1980.
Citing the contradictions, Mphoko, in a statement released on Tuesday, concluded Mnangagwa is working towards augmenting his succession battle through politics of destabilization and the undermining of Mugabe.
“In view of the above, Mnangagwa’s latest claim that he was poisoned in Gwanda cannot go unchallenged, not least because everyone can see that it is calculated—after thought—to challenge to president Mugabe’s public account that Mnangagwa’s medical doctor ruled out poisoning as the cause Mnangagwa’s traumatizing vomiting and diarrhoea in Gwanda,” said Mphoko.
He added, “It must be said that Mnangagwa’s statement that he was poisoned, when his medical doctor has authoritatively said he was not, is disappointing.
“There is now little doubt, if there was ever any, that there appears to be an agenda to undermine the authority of President Mugabe and to destabilize the country by using lies to fan ethnic tensions for political purposes. This must stop and do so sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi on Tuesday condemned the Zanu PF government for focusing on factional fights at the expense of economic problems affecting the electorate.
He advised the executive to respect the secrecy obligations which come with the offices they hold for the preservation of peace in the country.
“You cannot have a President haranguing his deputy in public. You cannot have that and vice versa. We know the President and his deputy cannot agree on everything but that must be discussed behind closed doors. When they come out, they come out with one position,” he said.
“I was going to say the Politburo must not sit at Zanu PF Headquarters; they must sit at Africa Unity Square because what they discuss we get to know about it even before they finish the meeting.” – newzim