VICE-President Emmerson Mnangawa has accused his counterpart, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko of lying and causing alarm and despondency through a statement he issued on Monday evening.
by staff reporters
Addressing a Press conference late last night, Mnangagwa said his doctors had told President Robert Mugabe that he had been poisoned.
“During the briefing to His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, my doctors, who attended to me ruled out food poisoning, but confirmed that poisoning had occurred and investigations were still in progress,” he said.
Mnangagwa denied ever saying publicly that he was not a victim of poisoning, accusing Mphoko of deliberately misleading the nation, as the public fight between Mugabe’s deputies rages on.
“I did not say poisoning had been ruled out and it is disappointing that a person of the level of Vice-President Mphoko would misunderstand and misrepresent the statements made by His Excellency and myself,” he said.
Mnangagwa, in a Press conference where journalists from the private media were blocked from attending, went after Mphoko, saying his statement was mainly a figment of his own imagination.
Mnangagwa said Mphoko’s statement was “littered with falsehoods” and departed from the decorum of Zanu PF.
“It is further disconcerting that the statement was littered with falsehoods, mischievous perceptions, malicious innuendos written in a language and tone, which is contemptuous and disrespectful to my person and the office I occupy,” he said.
Mnangagwa accused his counterpart of trying to cause alarm and despondency through his statement.
He ended by pledging loyalty to Mugabe, saying he had no intention of undermining his boss’ authority in any way.
On Monday, Mphoko accused Mnangagwa of undermining Mugabe by claiming he was poisoned at Mugabe’s rally in Gwanda in August.
Mphoko also accused Mnangagwa of using the ethnic card and warned him to stop it.
To add to the intrigue, Mugabe appeared to shoo away Mnangagwa when he arrived at Harare International Airport on Wednesday, before they were later seen engaged in conversation, with Mphoko intently listening on.
Sources said Mugabe questioned Mnangagwa on what he said in Masvingo, with the Vice-President denying the statements attributed to him, saying he had been misquoted.
This comes as the Zanu PF youth league will tomorrow hold a key meeting, which could precipitate Mnangagwa’s downfall, sources said.
Mnangagwa has of late been walking a tight political rope, as he has been the subject of attacks from Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
Zanu PF youth secretary, Kudzanai Chipanga confirmed the meeting yesterday, but denied reports they were plotting Mnangagwa’s ouster, saying tomorrow’s national assembly meeting was a routine youth league indaba.
“We will be holding a national assembly meeting on Saturday.
“It is a constitutional meeting at which we expect the President to officiate. We will also invite the secretary for the women’s league (Grace),” he said.