Poisoning suspected after Mnangagwa becomes ill
RUMOURS were swirling around Zimbabwe late on Saturday that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa became ill at a youth rally addressed by President Robert Mugabe in Gwanda.
Apparently, he was flown to hospital in South Africa on a Zimbabwe air force plane.
One of his close political associates, Josiah Hungwe, was also reportedly ill.
Well-connected sources in Zimbabwe say Mnangagwa might have contracted food poisoning earlier on Saturday.
Others, concerned at the faction fighting within ZanuPF about who will succeed Mugabe when he dies or steps down, speculated that Mnangagwa had been poisoned.
This drama – playing out on unofficial media late on Saturday – comes after a difficult week for Mnangagwa after a Facebook site, known as First TV, published a 72-minute propaganda video compiled by one of Mnangagwa’s enemies, Tertiary Education Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo, backed by first lady Grace Mugabe and Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, appear to detest Mnangagwa.
The video footage
Recent video contains allegations
created by journalists who previously worked for Moyo on statecontrolled newspapers make allegations against Mnangagwa. The video made many accusations against Mnangagwa and was recently presented to the Zanu-PF politburo. Mnangagwa has not responded to the allegations.
He has long been accused – along with Mugabe and one or two other currently serving ministers – of being behind the massacres of thousands of opposition supporters from 1983. The opposition was then led by liberation war hero Joshua Nkomo, who had to escape Zimbabwe at that time to avoid being assassinated.
Many cabinet ministers have been accused of violence over the years. Mnangagwa, who has served Mugabe one way or another for more than 50 years, was security minister during those massacres in Matabeleland from 1983-1987.
Mnangagwa and some colleagues within Mugabe’s present cabinet are also accused of violence against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, which saw hundreds killed and thousands tortured and arrested, especially in the first eight years after it was launched in 1999.
Many businessmen in Zimbabwe say privately they would like to see Mnangagwa succeed Mugabe as leader because they say he understands business.
Some say he has been enriched by private dealings in gold and other minerals. But all ministers, including Moyo, are widely accused of various acts of corruption. – Foreign Service
DRAMA AT RALLY: Zimbabwean Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has many enemies.