Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, has accused Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa of fanning factionalism within Zanu-PF.
Dr Mugabe was speaking at the Bulawayo Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium yesterday.
“Youths are being expelled everyday in the party. We worked well with other VPs such as VP Nkomo, Msika and Muzenda, we never had a problem with them. But the coming in of these two people there has been a lot of disorder from VP Mnangagwa. We don’t want that. President Mugabe was elected by the people, there is no such thing like you are saying that you will inherit the presidency. The President is there, we voted. When he feels the time is right he will tell us, you can’t force someone to step down,” she said.
Dr Mugabe said Davis Muhambi who was the party’s Secretary for Finance in the Youth League was expelled because of factionalism allegedly led by VP Mnangagwa. She said Muhambi was free to come and apologise for his wrong doings in the party and also to tell what he suffered under the hands of VP Mnangagwa. The First Lady also said there were elements that were influencing people not to attend the Interface rallies.
“It is not good at all because the President wants to come and meet his family from Bulawayo. We want the party to go forward and not just appear on election day. That is why we are here and he remembers you always,” she said.
Added Dr Mugabe: “You are united here in Bulawayo although you have many challenges as said by the Minister of State that factories have been closed. Youths need jobs, they are youths that have families to feed and care for so the focus should be on preparing for their future.”
She said VP Mnangagwa and Professor Jonathan Moyo (Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development) developed differences after they failed to agree after working together while trying to from a political party.
“Do you like Jonathan, akaitei? Hapana chaakaita. He should stand for himself. Jonathan was accused of having committed a crime and the President said he will set up a commission to investigate and it came back with findings and an instruction was given by the President to say if he used the money for certain projects, Cde (Ignatius) Chombo should write a report to say we are satisfied with the manner in which the money was used, and he did just that.
“Then what I don’t understand is that he once worked with VP Mnangagwa and they formed their own political party called United People’s Movement against the President. When you are a minister and loyal to the President you form your own political party, what does that mean? Is that loyalty?
Jonathan then said all those things that the VP did, we caution a person who does things that are against the party. Jonathan then told us of how money was being stolen from the party and put into his (VP Mnangagwa) own use. So that is what infuriated VP Mnangagwa.
“Jonathan mhosva yake ndeyekuti unotaurirei zvandinoita handitaurwe ini, ndiri VP. When he then tries to move about he is arrested by the police, hatidi izvozvo, kana aine mhosva ngadziende kumatare. We don’t want people who get over excited, I am the President’s wife but I do not abuse this position. We do not want factionalism here, Jonathan was appointed by the President and you must know that,” she said.
A section of the crowd then booed the First Lady but she was not deterred as she said it was known that those who were doing so had been paid.
“I will not stop, I don’t care about your boos, I will say it, I am the First Lady and I stand for the truth. Bring guns and your soldiers and shoot me, I will not stop talking about it. We do not want the party to be divided. Factionalism is taking place here. We are going to a Special Congress in December.
The person that we will put as our leader is President Mugabe.”
She went on: “Some of you were paid to boo me, go ahead do it, I don’t care, ndiri nhengo yakazvimirira. Throughout the country there were demonstrations to drive out Kasukuwere (Saviour). And another committee was set up to see if what he was accused of was really true. And reports showed that Kasukuwere was working for the party. All he did was to say to VP Mnangagwa pasi ne factionalism, period.”
Dr Mugabe said there was talk that Cde Kasukuwere and his elder brother were both involved in politics which is not amiss.
“If my children all want to be in Zanu-PF they can go ahead, it’s their country. No one stops anyone. How come VP Mnangagwa left a whole constituency to his wife, precedence was set, so today if I say the President should appoint me as his successor there is no problem because a precedence was set. I do not mince my words, I speak what I see. The President and I are in the party, so is VP Mnangagwa and his wife (Auxillia Mnangagwa), what you do you do not want to see anyone do huh, that must stop. Stop it,” she warned.
The First Lady went on to affirm Cde Kasukuwere’s position in the party.
“Kasukuwere is here to stay doing the job he was assigned to do. The President is the appointing authority and you must know that. We do not want to pretend here, innocent youths are being chased away from the party because of factionalism through VP Mnangagwa’s doings. Stop it,” she said.
She said the party National Youth Secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga and her lead two important organs in the party, the Women’s and Youth leagues.
“I do not like to see youths being blamed for what they did not do, we cannot watch as the youths are chased away while avoiding the root cause, no.
This now demands that we go to the disciplinary committee, let’s talk about it. The youths have suffered, let’s not be cowards and watch them suffer. I do not want that. I speak the truth. Our leader is the President only.”