Mnangagwa poisoning saga spills into politburo

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VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is likely to be the main subject of discussion at today’s politburo meeting, following the alleged food poisoning saga and his efforts to counter Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s presentation at the last indaba, set to dominate the agenda. 


The explosive indaba comes amid widening succession fissures. The meeting, according to Zanu PF sources, is also likely to recommend disciplinary action against Mnangagwa’s allies, accused of fanning reports that the Vice-President fell sick after consuming ice-cream supplied by President Robert Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairies.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo yesterday confirmed today’s meeting, but as has become the norm, declined to disclose issues likely to be discussed.

At the last politburo meeting, Mnangagwa sought to rebutt Moyo’s report and would likely bring evidence that the Higher Education minister was working to destroy Zanu PF from within.

Zanu PF sources said Mnangagwa will present a dossier aimed at nailing Moyo.

“Mnangagwa has prepared a dossier which details Moyo’s statements which he has consistently made that Mugabe has overstayed … as well as minutes of various meetings which he held with a number of foreign ambassadors,” the sources said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo at the weekend indicated that the politburo would discuss the fate of party members perpetuating claims that Mnangagwa was poisoned.

Mnangagwa’s allies accused his rivals of lacing his ice-cream with poison in a bid to physically eliminate him from the succession race, where he is widely seen as the front-runner to take over from Mugabe.

One of his allies, Energy Mutodi, was recently arrested over the issue and the matter is still pending at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

Mnangagwa was, three weeks ago, airlifted from a Zanu PF campaign rally in Gwanda and taken to South Africa for treatment following the poisoning scare, but Mugabe last week disclosed that his deputy’s doctors had ruled out food poisoning.

At the last politburo meeting, Moyo made a 72-minute video presentation chronicling Mnangagwa’s alleged underhand machinations to wrest power from Mugabe.

Moyo accused Mnangagwa of corruption and capturing State institutions as well as working with party renegades in the alleged plot to oust the President.

Mnangagwa is expected to make a counter presentation with details of how the Tsholotsho North MP has been allegedly working hand-in-glove with the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency in a plot to effect regime change.

Other sources said Mnangagwa might fail to respond to all allegations levelled against him after Moyo refused to give him the video presentation he (Moyo) made for the VP to prepare his defence.

“The VP asked Moyo for the documents he used in his presentation through Chombo, but did not get them,” a high-ranking party official said.

“He will not tomorrow (today) respond to the allegations levelled against him.

“He will instead ask President Mugabe to order Moyo to release the documents so that he responds to every issue raised by the minister in the last politburo meeting.”

Moyo, in his response to a letter by Chombo dated July 24, where he was informed of Mnangagwa’s request for the material used in the onslaught against him during the politburo meeting of July 19, also demanded that the Vice-President give him the document he wanted to table in the next politburo meeting.

Mnangagwa had written to Chombo requesting material – the video detailing the Vice-President’s alleged document, a document titled Blue Ocean, which was linked to war veterans that demanded that Mugabe hand power to his deputy, and a copy of Britain’s New Statesman magazine that carried an interview with Mnangagwa – which the Tsholotsho North MP used to build a case against him.

The politburo is also expected to deliberate on preparations for Zanu PF’s December conference, next year’s elections, as well as support for agriculture under its ambitious command agriculture scheme led by Mnangagwa. – NewsDay