Chimene claims zeal to protect inspired attack on VP Mnangagwa
THE Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene, yesterday said she was solidly behind the Presidium and never pushed for her “father” Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ouster, but that her action was driven by her zeal to jealously protect him.
Cde Chimene 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 on July 27.
But in an interview yesterday, Cde Chimene said she openly challenged VP Mnangagwa to come out clean on the succession issue because she wanted the matter to be discussed once and for all resulting in a united Zanu-PF.
Hurungwe East legislator, Cde Sarah Mahoka, who also openly chided VP Mnangagwa, declined to comment on the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe’s Friday pronouncement that the Women’s League never sought to dislodge any of the VPs from their position.
She said she was in a meeting and could not comment.
“During our meeting as war veterans with President Mugabe, I never said VP Mnangagwa should go. I never said people do not like him.
“What I said was that people were associating his name with the succession issue and he should come out clean. So strong was the rumour, but people were afraid to come out in the open. People were saying some of the people in leadership positions were causing divisions in the party.
“Zvinonzi kubvondora mvura ndokuti inwike (It’s called stirring the water to make it drinkable) and that is what I did. It’s now mission accomplished and everyone is now rallying behind the Presidium,” said Cde Chimene.
She added: “I don’t hate VP Mnangagwa, and I’ve never harboured any ill-feelings against him. He was my boss in the security sector during the liberation struggle. I’m too junior to comment on President Mugabe’s relationship with VP Mnangagwa because it dates back to many years ago, but my heart bleeds when I see some people trying to pit my two leaders against each other.
“I’m against people who were busy campaigning for VP Mnangagwa’s succession bid yet he is already in the Presidium. It is only people who want to tarnish his image who were spreading the malicious rumours about him taking over.
“Even greenhorns who are still to cut their political milk teeth are the ones running with the succession issue, but time will come when we will name and shame them,” Cde Chimene said.
When pressed to name those allegedly soiling VP Mnangagwa’s name, Cde Chimene, said: “We know them and it is a matter of time before we let the cat out of the bag.
“I was taken aback recently while at Parliament when a greenhorn started the succession issue. I told him that he was lucky that we were in the Parliament building, if we were outside I would have dealt with him decisively. I’ve evidence of what I’m saying because it was mentioned in the presence of Parliament staff members who can be my witnesses.
“Our leaders should not allow little boys to use their names for selfish gains. These young men who still need to grow up politically are the ones causing confusion and chaos in Zanu-PF, but our leaders should not remain quiet as this will raise a lot of suspicions.”
Cde Chimene hailed President Mugabe for speaking strongly against rumour mongering in the party during last Friday’s Women’s League national assembly meeting. See Comment on Page 4
Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene