VP Mnangagwa contradicts Mugabe

MUTARE - Suddenly newly-appointed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday appeared to set himself on a collision course with President Robert Mugabe when he told western diplomats that Zimbabwe wished to re-engage with the West after more than a decade of isolation which he said had cost the country 15 years of development.

On his part, Mugabe has consistently said that the country does not need the “evil West”.

Mnangagwa was supported in the campaign for the West’s assistance by Water minister Savior Kasukuwere, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and the minister of Local government Ignatius Chombo.

Speaking at Queens Hall in Mutare, at the commissioning of a Zimfund sewage rehabilitation project and the completion of a 10 million metric litre water tank to supply more than 100 000 people with water, Mnangagwa, said it was time for Zimbabwe to bury the hatchet and fully rejoin the international community.

“We wish to bury the past and walk into the future with our co-operating partners. We cannot continue to remain isolated.

“We wish to engage the international community and to be part and parcel of the forward moving members of the international community,” Mnangagwa (pictured) said to loud applause.

Zimfund is a multi-donor trust fund launched in 2009 in the face of a debilitating cholera epidemic that erupted on poor water and sanitation service.

The fund enjoys financial support from the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany through the African Development Bank (AfDB).

All the representatives of the donor countries were present at yesterday’s well-attended function.

Mnangagwa’s views yesterday also appeared to mark a significant departure from the government’s Look East policy in the face of criticism from Zimbabweans who have not seen any tangible benefits from the controversial outlook of the past 15 years.

The VP said the country had suffered between 14 and 15 years of stagnation in its stand-off with the West following Zimbabwe’s much-criticised fast track land reform programme.

“We have lost not less than 14 to 15 years of stagnation in this country,” the VP said.

Speaking at the same function, Chinamasa, who is Zimfund’s co-chairperson, concurred with Mnangagwa on the urgent need to re-engage the West, noting that the country had lost 20 years of development, in the face of its chaotic land redistribution programme.

“We need to catch up 20 years because of problems we faced in addressing the land question,” Chinamasa said, adding that the government welcomed the continued channelling of developmental aid through AfDB from countries still averse to directly funding Zimbabwe.

He said given the country’s current economic challenges, the government was “unable to meet its service delivery obligations from our budget” and would appreciate a continuation of the aid through the bank.

“The funds have been well managed,” Chinamasa assured the gathered dignitaries.

He said the support that the government got from the seven western countries was benefitting six urban councils — Mutare, Harare, Masvingo, Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Gweru and Kwekwe — which had to date received $140 million worth of aid.

Not to be outdone, Kasukuwere unexpectedly asked the gathered crowd to give a round of applause for the United Kingdom in particular, as the senior Zanu PF officials moved to  show their appreciation for donor aid.

The Water minister said the next phase of the programme was going to incorporate Ruwa and Redcliff due to their proximity to Harare and Kwekwe respectively.

He implored Mutare City Council not to allow the infrastructure to dilapidate again going forward.

Head of AfDB in Zimbabwe, Mathius Magala, said the project which was proposed to the bank by the donor countries in the face of the devastating cholera epidemic of 2008, which killed about 4 000 people, had also recently approved a $104 million fund for this year.

Magala said the funding would cover basic infrastructure rehabilitation, public and private sector development, gender mainstreaming, debt management programmes and support to parliamentarians among other things.

Meanwhile, Chombo announced that he had donated a stand for AfDB to construct its head office in Harare “on condition construction begins this year”.

Chinamasa had earlier in the meeting indicated that the bank had made a request for a stand through his office.

In announcing the donation, Chombo said the decision had been okayed by Mnangagwa.

Comments (13)

muface uyu has the potential to revive the economy of the country it seems. what we want are opportunities for our citizens and the future generation not policies that destroy the country. all the best cde mnangagwa.

taurai - 27 February 2015

No no no no VP is not genuine in what he is saying, it's a talk show. Keep looking east that is where the wise men will come from!! If it takes 14 or 15 or 20 years for some people to realise that any nation needs to engage with others then it tells a few things of these people. ZANU PF was warned a million times that you need to co-eexist with the global village and in particular business minded western companies and countries. Taking land was never meant to develop Zimbabwe. If these this VP and his finance minister have eventually seen the light they must make a policy statement in defiance if Mugabe who no longer read newspapers. Hamulume kumaChina uko..twakaomera mari coz they know it takes decades to make money.

Garikayi - 27 February 2015

So Robert Mugabe has been the sole ajent destroying the country all these 20 - 30 years. No wonder this old man should just go to the dogs.

Edzai - 27 February 2015

we are worried about the future of our children

inini - 27 February 2015

I see a very bright and warm light at the end of the present dark tunnel. Yes! Reset , and GO!

Sekuru Ndaronga - 27 February 2015

Varume, Mnangagwa cannot be trusted. Ngati regere kupembedza n'ánga neinobata mai!!

Nesongano - 27 February 2015

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Ronaldo - 27 February 2015

"Pasi ne zanu pf " Mugabe in last December. "Pamberi ne mhandu" recently by VP Mnangagwa. Chamakadya chapfuka!! . Is it not Chinamasa who in recent weeks after receiving free money from E.U insulted those who gave him the money?. "Funds have been well managed", Go to hell Chinamasa. Is it not one of the things that led to the firing of Mujuru of being linked to the west.How many Politiburo meetings did Mnangagwa set in 15 years and not raise such issues. Mnangagwa has realised that he and his group have no chance in the impending final battle post mugabe era for the control of zanu pf against the mujuru faction. This is nothing but a Political stunt to gain ground ahead of that battle. Noone will be fooled by these thugs any more. The country needs new people to fix it. Now I ask who is the puppet of the west MDC or Zanu pf. VP said " we cannot remain isolated" . What happened to the slogan "ivhu redu, madiamonds edu, nyika yedu." If mugabe is bed ridden just anounce it. Its too late Zanu pf is in its last stages of its existance. This time hamulume!!!

X-MAN IV - 27 February 2015

Everyone contradicts RGM and the whole of ZPF. They must just go!

Freedom4Zim - 28 February 2015

i have been following mnangagwa ever since he landed the post of VP and one thing that i have realsied is that the man knows the cause of our suffering: RGM. he is on a crusade to try to paint a different picture but it remains to be seen whether he is genuine or not.

haya - 28 February 2015

If Emason continues talking like that he will be kicked out by Grace and he will have all his belongs he got through zanu taken away from him ,

Diibulaanyika - 28 February 2015

ED Munangagwa, point taken. There is more to it than the song -engage west. You are a member of Mafia -Zanu-PF mob group, whose god father is RG Mugabe. Zanu-PF operates within cover of darkness, whose elements are: no accountability; election rigging, intimidation; violence; murder; The west operate in total transparency. That is why the west are a success story and you are a bullshit story.

Mbareboy - 28 February 2015

I think it could be the beginning of sober senses,Zim needs the whole world and its not the whole world that needs Zim.The Africans,Europeans,Americans,Australians and Asians are all of paramount importance for the survival not only for Zim but any other state irrespective of its geo-location.That is the stance that a sensible government has to take

carson macate - 28 February 2015

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