I’m not junior: Mphoko

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Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday said he was equal to his counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa as the former diplomat sought to assert authority after his surprise appointment last December.

By Tatenda Chitagu

Mphoko was appointed as a direct replacement to the late Vice-President John Nkomo to represent PF Zapu in the unified ruling Zanu PF party.

His appointment was discredited by former PF Zapu members who argued that he deserted the party led by the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo before and after independence.

PF Zapu representatives beginning with Nkomo have always been referred to as second vice-presidents in Zanu PF, but Mphoko appeared to take exception to that when he was introduced by Psychomotor minister Josiah Hungwe at a lecture at Great Zimbabwe University.

Mphoko, who is also National Healing minister, was delivering a lecture at the institution when Hungwe introduced him as the second VP.

Hungwe, a perceived staunch Mnangagwa supporter who once likened the VP to Jesus Christ, referring to him as the “Son of Man”, asked Mphoko to stand up during the introductions.

He showered the former ambassador to Botswana with praises, likening him to the biblical Moses.

The Chivi-Mwenezi Senator had difficulties in pronouncing Mphoko’s name as he went overboard in his praise-singing.

However, Mphoko, who acknowledged the praises, appeared not flattered by Hungwe’s reference to him as second VP, implying he was junior to Mnangagwa.

“I am humbled and honoured by what minister Hungwe has said about me. You do not praise yourself, but others have to do that for you,” Mphoko said.

“I want to make a correction before I proceed. As a Vice-President, I am still referred to as honourable. Again, we do not have a first and second Vice-President in our structures. We just have two Vice-Presidents.”

Mphoko added: “We have the first secretary of the party, who is President Robert Mugabe and two second secretaries of the party who are vice-presidents. That is the correction that I wanted to make.”

According to Section 31 (c) (1) of the old Constitution which has now been incorporated into the new supreme law (under the sixth schedule) as a 10-year transitional measure, there shall be not more than two Vice-Presidents of Zimbabwe, who shall be appointed by the President.

Section 31 (c) (2) goes on to say: “The Vice-President or Vice-Presidents, as the case may be, shall assist the President in the discharge of his executive functions, and shall perform such other functions, including the administration of any Act of Parliament or of any ministry or department, as the President may assign to him or them, as the case may be.”

Mphoko was on Tuesday at the receiving end of subtle attacks from war veterans for pushing for the pardoning of Zanu PF officials hounded out of the party for allegedly supporting former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

He had called on Manicaland Zanu PF provincial structures to pardon ex-Energy deputy minister Munacho Mutezo and Chipinge South MP Enock Porusingazi who were allegedly aligned to Mujuru.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mphoko you are just the second VP. Ngwena is the first VP. Arselicker Hungwe is right, for once…

  2. Well said Son of Many… Chimoko is the second VP, nothing else. Does Chimoko honestly think that if Matibili snuffs it, as he surely will soon, he will become President of ‘Mbawhe’? He is a big dreamer…

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