Harare – Zimbabwe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has hit back at his colleague, fellow Deputy President Phelezela Mphoko in a brief, concise but explosive presser held at his offices in the capital.
Mnangagwa was forced to release the statement after his colleague, in his capacity as acting President released a statement accusing him of tribalism, disloyalty, and undermining the President after the former had spoken at a memorial service held for the later Masvingo Provincial Minister, Shuvai Mahofa.
In the statement, Mphoko accused Mnangagwa of lying about the source of his illness (poison) so as to drive an ulterior agenda and undermine Mugabe and cause harm to Gushungo Dairy – a business owned by the Mugabe family.
But Mnangagwa hit back, first pointing out that Mphoko’s statements had been wholly inaccurate, about details like the atmosphere at the memorial, which Mphoko called emotionally charged, when it had been sombre and teary.
Mnangagwa then clarrified the contents of his speech at Mahofa’s memorial, and explained what he had said, which is in line with what President Mugabe said at a rally held in Bindura weeks after Mnangagwa had fallen ill.
Mugabe stated that Mnangagwa had not been a victim of food poisoning, and that his doctors had stated this, and added that they were investigating the cause of his illness.
Mnangagwa added that in his speech, he had once again explained that he was not a victim of food poisoning, which occurs when someone eats congested food, but he had been poisoned, something which is totally different.
Mnangagwa then hit back at Mphoko, expressing displeasure that a man who occupies the office and holds the title of Vice President would misunderstand and misinterpret what the President had said, and what he had said.
Mnangagwa then fired shots at Mphoko, stating that his statement was ‘littered with subjective falsehoods, malicious innuendoes… language & tone disrespectful, and is contemptuous’ to him.
The Vice President added that the statement by his colleague Mphoko was ‘bent on causing alarm, disunity and despondency amongst peace loving Zimbabweans’