VP UNMOVED Mnangagwa shrugs off Chimene diatribe
VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has scoffed at allegations by Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Mandiitawepi Chimene that he leads a faction within Zanu-PF, saying such claims will not distract him from performing his duties.
The Zanu-PF Second Secretary said the unsubstantiated allegations encouraged him to work even harder for the development of the country.
Cde Chimene on Wednesday all but called on President Mugabe to expel VP Mnangagwa during a solidarity meeting with war veterans and party supporters at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare.
President Mugabe indicated during his address to the gathering that there was no evidence that Cde Mnangagwa led the so-called Team Lacoste.
Responding to questions from journalists on the sidelines of his tour of a pasture project at Hunyani Farm in Zvimba yesterday, VP Mnangagwa said he would continue with his national duties undistracted.
“Izvozvo ndizvo zvinondipa simba. Kana zvikashaikwa ndinotoshaya simba rekushanda. Ko, ichokwadi here? Ko, ndidzo politics ka dzaunenge uchingonenegwavo asi iwe uchingoinda. Uchingoinda chete, vanovukura vachipa simba. Akange asisipo panenge pasisina simba. (Those false allegations will not deter me from performing my duties. Actually, it gives me strength. Are the allegations true? That is politics. People will accuse you, but you should continue with your work.
“People who discourage will always be there but it will give you strength),” he said.
Cde Chimene called on President Mugabe to replace Cde Mnangagwa, claiming that the Vice President was fanning factionalism in the party by allegedly leading a faction in Zanu-PF called Team Lacoste.
In his address, President Mugabe urged war veterans and party supporters not to rush to conclusions without concrete evidence.
The President said Zanu-PF would not change its top leadership based on unsubstantiated allegations, most of them sponsored by external forces seeking to cause divisions in the revolutionary party.
He said the freedom fighters should know that the enemy was using covert avenues to divide Zanu-PF.
“We shall keep together at the top,” said President Mugabe.
“We shall remain united. We know that accusations will continue to be made, allegations naturally, some true, some false, but Zanu-PF knows how to settle its contradictions. In our view, let us not accuse anyone of leading a faction when we don’t have evidence. Give it time. You must be mindful of the fact that our enemies want to divide the party, abusing our names. The truth shall come out but let’s be vigilant”.
Added President Mugabe: “During the liberation struggle we learnt a lot from China during Mao’s time on how they would solve internal differences.
“The Chinese sit down and discuss with squabbling parties, giving their ideas. Those ideas that conform to the party ideology will be taken on board. That is how contradictions were settled in China. That is how we were settling them also in our camps outside the country. Let us not fight each other. We don’t want war. We don’t want violence.”
President Mugabe said it was the duty of the party leadership to denounce those fomenting divisions.
“If accused, it is also up to us to tell the people that the accusations are false,” he said.
President Mugabe said unity was crucial at all levels of the party as it started preparations for the next elections.
“So let’s keep together and help us also with your unity at the base,” he said.
“The unity of Zanu-PF in the provinces and I want to thank the provincial chairpersons who are here. Your unity is crucial because that is the basis of the whole party.
“We can’t talk of a united party when the provinces are not united. We can’t talk also of a united party when the wings of the party — the Youth League, the Women’s League — when these are not united.
“So the unity of the party is crucial and I am glad that so far, we have maintained that unity and I hope that we shall maintain it until 2018.”
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene