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Mutsvangwa digs in

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INTERNECINE fights in Zanu PF ahead of the elective December congress have escalated with Foreign Affairs deputy minister Chris Mutsvangwa yesterday vowing that no one would stop him from attacking party bigwigs who abused their positions in both government and the ruling party.

MOSES MATENGA

Mutsvangwa’s remarks came amid reports that a faction within Zanu PF was pushing for disciplinary action against him following his verbal assaults on the party’s national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and for questioning Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s liberation war credentials.

In an unbridled attack last week in one of the dailies, Mutsvangwa lashed out at Mutasa, describing him as “a pretender who wanted to usurp leadership of Zanu PF by dubious means”.

Informed party sources said the former Zimbabwean top envoy to China could soon be hauled before a disciplinary committee for allegedly disrespecting party leadership.

According to reports, the ruling party leadership was expected to meet soon to deliberate on the Mutsvangwa-Mutasa feud.

Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the attack on Mutasa by Mutsvangwa was “regrettable” and the party would definitely deal with the matter.

“As far as we are concerned, it’s regrettable, but in the history of political discourse, you run into those things. As a party, we have rules and regulations for dealing with such matters and we will meet to deal with it,” Gumbo said.

Yesterday, Mutasa said he would not stoop to the level of Mutsvangwa by responding to his attacks in writing.

“I don’t want to put myself at the same level with Mutsvangwa. I won’t write to the papers like what he did and that is my response,” Mutasa said.

Mutasa had over the weekend
threatened to give a comprehensive written response “to expose” Mutsvangwa, who he described as “bogus”.

But Mutsvangwa yesterday remained unfazed, saying he would stand by his claims that Mutasa was “a pretender”.

He scoffed at Gumbo’s threats to discipline him, saying he would not be cowed by Mutasa.

“I stand by what I said and I am speaking as a war veteran and a war veteran comes before any other post in government. For Mutsvangwa, being a war veteran is a matter of historical record and it takes precedence on everything whether in the party or government,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Just as I made the bold decision to sacrifice my life in the struggle, I am making this statement as a war veteran and if those people are war veterans, they should respect my views and should respect all war veterans who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country.”

He added that “real war veterans” should have integrity and stop abusing positions in government or the ruling party.

“Our history as war veterans is wrought in blood. It has memories of the dead and nothing to do with succession politics. People fought for the liberation of the country and I stand by what I said. I am unshakable and it’s like the decision I made to offer my life to liberate the people of Zimbabwe,” Mutsvangwa said.

Last week, Mutsvangwa, who is also the Norton MP, said: “With no rule book, he [Mutasa] discards the party constitution and makes arbitrary decisions in the name of the President of the Republic then looks up to an unelected Vice-President Mujuru for defence and succour.”

He accused Mutasa of having a “long and notorious record of manipulating party ambition to his schemes of king-making” with former party secretary-general Edgar Tekere being one of his victims.

Zanu PF is entangled in a nasty internal fight over succession of 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe, in power for the past 34 years, has already been endorsed by the Zanu PF youth and women’s leagues as their sole candidate for the 2018 elections. He would be 94 by the time the country holds the polls.

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