MINISTER of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Mandiitawepi Chimene yesterday said she steadfastly backed 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 Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare on July 27.
In an interview yesterday, Cde Chimene said she openly challenged VP Mnangagwa to come clean on the succession issue because she wanted the issue to be discussed once and for all for a united Zanu-PF.
Hurungwe East legislator Cde Sarah Mahoka, who also chided VP Mnangagwa in public, was evasive when approached to comment on the Women’s League’s endorsement of the Presidium.
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.
“Zvinonzi kubvondora mvura ndokuti inwike and that is what I did. It is now mission accomplished and everyone is now rallying behind the Presidium,” said Cde Chimene.
She added: “I don’t hate VP Mnangagwa, and I have never harboured any ill-feelings against him. He was my boss in the security sector during the liberation struggle.
“I am too junior to comment on President Mugabe’s relationship with VP Mnangagwa because it dates back many years ago, but my heart bleeds when I see some people trying to pit my two leaders against each other.
“I am 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.” herald