HARARE - Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi has warned Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies that they risk being booted out of Zanu PF and government if they do not keep their “unbridled” ambition in check.
Speaking on the occasion of the fundraising dinner for President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday celebrations in Harare at the weekend Mzembi waded into the Zanu PF succession wars accusing “a number of constituencies in our midst” of “speaking with forked tongues over the sacrosanct and untradeable subject of loyalty”.
Mzembi warned all party and government officials appointed by Mugabe including Mnangagwa that they would struggle to match Mugabe’s “achievements” even if they were given the chance to govern.
“The standing ovation from heads of State and government for the president compels every one of us to introspect, and the question is, will you be able to command the same response and goodwill?
“Are you not gambling with people’s lives with your unbridled ambitions? Being an MP is an elected position but ministerial deployments and other senior deployments in government, are all served at the mercy and pleasure of the president.
“So, be warned you can wake up a nobody, walking the streets. We are all exercising borrowed and delegated authority, so do not get overexcited with borrowed robes, they can be withdrawn,” Mzembi said.
This also comes as the Zanu PF youth league has claimed that there was a plot by Mnangagwa’s allies who include war veterans to derail Mugabe’s birthday bash slated for Masvingo on Saturday.
Speaking at the same occasion, politburo member Kudzanai Chipanga, who is also Zanu PF deputy youth league chairperson, equated ambitious party bigwigs to the biblical donkey that Jesus rode as he entered Jerusalem.
“The donkey thought that people were ululating for it and decided to go alone one day but was thoroughly beaten. The same will happen to some who include VPs, ministers and MPs who have the mistaken belief that we like them on their own even without the president. They risk being treated like the biblical donkey,” Chipanga said.
Once described by Mugabe as his best minister, Mzembi went ballistic with fawning messages for the 92-year-old Zanu PF strongman as he took bootlicking a level higher exalting him as an oasis of wisdom.
Mzembi said the fundraising dinner that ran under the theme “youth celebrating an African icon through enhanced productivity” invoked in him “cherishable memories and privilege of the favour upon my life of working under the “Founding Father of the Nation”.
“Working under him can be equated to drinking from the biblical well of wisdom, the well of Jacob.
“History will one day in the future capture how together with the youths, we fought so resolutely to preserve that legacy in the face of conflicting messages and actions that are surprisingly being communicated by those we should be learning from.
“Notwithstanding, these universal accomplishments, I sense in our midst instances of dissonance, ferocious attrition that sadly divert our strategic focus as guided by him.
“This is especially so when self-opinionated individuals, diverse obsessions and contestations override the voice of reason to the extent that it gives the president no peace of mind.
“Akin to Jesus Christ’s experiences, when at Nazareth he was admonished by His kin who said ‘Is he not the son of the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James?’ Jesus reminded them that ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household”.
“Such familiarity that bred generational contempt may unfortunately be finding expression in our Zimbabwe body politic today. Allow me to remind everybody of the Biblical Psalm of David that says ‘touch not my anointed”.