Mnangagwa is not heir apparent: Moyo

HARARE- Vice President (VP) Emmerson Mnangagwa is not the heir apparent but just one of two appointed deputies of President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s influential and outspoken information minister Jonathan Moyo said yesterday.

Speaking in a BBC HARDTalk interview with Steven Sackur, Moyo said Mnangagwa was appointed by Mugabe to assist him in implementing his government agenda in line with his pledges to the electorate.

Mnangagwa has been reported as the heir apparent following his appointment as VP in December last year.

Asked by Sackur why Zimbabwe was considering Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe given his fearsome power and alleged ruthlessness against rivals, Moyo retorted: “This reference to him as the next president is really yours and a burden that you should unravel yourself and not state as a fact. You can ask those who see him that way but he is an appointed vice president.

“The president did not appoint him so that he could succeed him, but he appointed him so that he could assist him to implement the policy programme of government.”

Citing events just after Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, when Mnangagwa allegedly directed a crackdown on innocent citizens that claimed thousands of lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces, Moyo claimed Mnangagwa’s association with the 1980’s Gukurahundi massacre was stuff that was made up in newspapers.

Moyo, who lost relatives during the Gukurahundi atrocities, said in politics it was not advisable to harbour grudges. He cited statements by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo that: “It is better to build bridges than to harbour grudges.”

Speaking about the vaulting ambition of Mugabe’s increasingly influential wife Grace, 49, who has been quickly elevated into the higher echelons of Zanu PF, Moyo said there was nothing wrong in her having presidential ambitions.

While her abrasive style has rubbed some senior party members the wrong way amid reports that Mugabe could be preparing his wife to take over when he leaves office, Moyo said the decision rests solely with Zimbabweans.

Speaking on the shambolic state of the Zimbabwean economy, Sackur produced a copy of the Daily News on Sunday with a headline “Zimbabwe reduced to a nation of vendors”, but Moyo dismissed the paper as part of the “lunatic fringe”.

The National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe claims it has six million vendors, nearly half of Zimbabwe’s population nationwide, and more than 100 000 members in Harare alone.

Sackur questioned the Zimbabwe government’s responsibility in running up gruelling statistics. He cited World Health Organisation statistics indicating that 72 percent of Zimbabweans live below the poverty datum line, while unemployment stands at more than 80 percent.

The Tsholotsho North Zanu PF parliamentary candidate claimed Zimbabwe was not an economically failed state but was brought to its knees by targeted sanctions.

“You just picked a newspaper and not an economic report,” Moyo said. “Secondly, you have just been here for 24 hours and you are now posing as an expert on our economy which is the problem with you people.

“You do not respect that a country has a history. You have been here and have seen vendors but we also have farmers who are doing wonderful work.”

Comments (4)

Keep spinning Jonso. One of the cleverest ways of answering questions is to avoid them by asking another question

Realist - 20 May 2015

he met his match in that Englishman. nowhere to hide mr information minister. the fact that many people are escaping to zanzi for better opportunities implies a failed economy. we are now all vending for a living in a country that has so much potential. I am glad that Englishman took him to task.

tula - 20 May 2015

Jonso on the interview you were bitten hands down , the English man just saw vendors he didn't go to the farms , why did you not take him to the farms , to show them farmers who are doing well , if our farmers are doing well , why are we not having good harvests . Can you check on this one , whenever Zanu PF claim to win an election that year there will be drought . During the GNU period there were no droughts , its you food for thought believe it or not

Mudhara - 20 May 2015

”You have been here and have seen vendors but we also have farmers who are doing wonderful work.” Prof, you forgot to mention that the farmers have not been paid for their maize since last year

Haruna - 21 May 2015

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