Home » Governance » Mnangagwa Plays Down Mutsvangwa-Mumbengegwi Rift

JUSTICE Minister and Zanu PF faction leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has played down the rift between Foreign Affairs deputy minister Chris Mutsvangwa and his boss, Simbarashe Mumbengwegwi.

Mutsvangwa converted his interview on Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM stereo Tuesday to launch a fierce diatribe on Mumbengegwi, who is substantive Foreign Affairs Minister.

He accused the heavily bearded senior diplomat, together with his permanent secretary Joey Bimha, of causing unnecessary embarrassment to President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, when they went on to apply for her visa to an AU-EU summit when signs of its rejection were apparent.

“What the Minister and the PermSec did was ill aised,” Mutsvangwa had said, “It was pointless for the two to apply for the visa of the first lady knowing full well that it would be turned down. Why did they apply for the visa when there were indications she will not get a visa.”

Mutsvangwa further accused the two of reducing the foreign affairs ministry into their “fiefdom” through monopolising ministerial decisions while forgetting they were, by right, his juniors if they were to compare their liberation war credentials with his.

His comments were viewed as yet another sign of deep seated divisions within Zanu PF, which has in the recent past been failing to mask its worsening succession battles.

But Mnangagwa told MPs during the house’s question and answer session Wednesday Mutsvangwa’s comments were nothing but a mere expression of his personal views.

“People are allowed to air their opinions. At the end of the day the position of Government is what should prevail. The position of Government on that issue (the EU-Africa Summit) prevails,” Mnangagwa said while responding to Kuwadzana MDC-T MP, Nelson Chamisa.

“That is part of the democratic process that is prevalent in this country. We cannot condemn individuals for saying their views.”

Chamisa had asked Mnangagwa, also head of government business in parliament, if the current Zanu PF government was still united after Mutsvangwa’s vicious criticism of his superior.

It is however not the first time that Zanu PF politicians have attacked each other in public.

Information minister Jonathan Moyo is currently locked in another bitter exchange with Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chair Themba Mliswa over the latter’s comments he sponsored the ill-fated 2004 Tsholotsho meeting, which Mugabe viewed as an attempted coup on his leadership within Zanu PF.

Moyo has also been forced to duck heavy fire from Vice President Joice Mujuru, who accuses him of pushing his succession agenda through uncovering a murky salary scandal by parastatal executives.

Source : New Zimbabwe