HomeNews‘Mugabe, Mnangagwa relations cordial’

‘Mugabe, Mnangagwa relations cordial’

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ZANU PF yesterday tried to water down the rift between President Robert Mugabe and his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who have taken to public events to throw jibes at each other in the ongoing succession wars.

BY OBEY MANAYITI/VENERANDA LANGA

The party is on the brink, with two camps, Team Lacoste reportedly angling to have Mnangagwa take over from Mugabe, while the rival G40 faction is coalescing around First Lady Grace Mugabe in the race to succeed the 93-year-old leader.

For some time now, Mnangagwa has been on the receiving end as both Mugabe and his wife attacked the VP’s alleged faction for reportedly trying to usurp power from the President.

In a surprise move, Mnangagwa hit back at the weekend at the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa’s memorial service.

But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday refuted claims the ruling party was in turmoil, describing the relations between Mugabe and Mnangagwa as friendly.

“The relationship between the President and first secretary of the party and his deputy is as solid and cordial as ever, and all prophets of doom shall always be put to shame,” he said.

“It should be noteworthy that amid this concerted media vilification, the revolutionary party is emerging even stronger.

“Zanu PF will remain undeterred in pursuit of its people-centred objectives, policies and programmes as set out under ZimAsset and the 10-point plan as enunciated by the President.”

Last week at the burial of the late Vice-President Joseph Msika’s widow, Maria, Mugabe insinuated that some of his trusted lieutenants had turned themselves into “Judas Iscariots”, in what was seen as a subtle strike on his deputy, who is accused of wanting to take over.

This came after G40 members accused Mnangagwa, who was acting President when Mugabe travelled to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, of creating a fictitious crisis that led to panic-buying.

Mugabe and Grace have also accused Masvingo and Midlands provinces of fanning factionalism and being problematic and incidentally, the two provinces are said to be openly campaigning for Mnangagwa to take over.

Mnangagwa at the weekend accused some newcomers in the party of trying to hijack the journey they joined midway, warning they would not succeed, a thinly-veiled attack on G40.

He also insinuated Mahofa was poisoned by G40 members at the party’s Victoria Falls conference in December 2015 and that he had fallen to the same fate at the Gwanda rally in August, where he was airlifted to South Africa, a statement likely to set him on a collision course with Mugabe, who said his deputy was not poisoned.

Meanwhile, Mabvuku-Tafara legislator James Maridadi yesterday accused Mugabe of failing to deal with discord in Cabinet and opting to “harangue” Mnangagwa in public, instead of dealing with his party problems behind closed doors.

Maridadi was contributing to debate in the National Assembly on a motion in reply to the President’s speech, where he argued that procedurally, Mugabe must not officially open Parliament, but the Speaker should.

“When you have a whole President telling us secrets of his deputy in public, it is a source of conflict because you cannot have a President haranguing his deputy in public, or the VP doing vice-versa; they must do it behind closed doors,” the legislator said.

“You find a secretary [George Charamba] was paraded at a Zanu PF rally and attacked by First Lady Grace Mugabe because he is meddling in politics, but the First Lady will not attack Ngoni Masoka (Public Service secretary) or parade him at a rally because he concentrates on bureaucracy and does not meddle in politics.”

Maridadi blasted discord in Cabinet, saying, in fact, ministers should sit in Africa Unity Square so that they deal with real issues affecting ordinary people and not factional fights and spying on each other.

“Government media is also taking sides and you are a minister (of Information) and you come to cry to us,” he continued, in reference to Information minister Chris Mushohwe. “Resign because you are a failure. What do you want us to do? You want us to give you Cerelac (baby cereal)?”

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