By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, never made any undertaking to get into a transitional authority or government of national unity with the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai, following the fall of former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
Reacting to claims made by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa at Tsvangirai’s memorial held in Buhera Saturday, that Mnangagwa had betrayed a promise he made to the late former Prime Minister of forming a transitional authority, Information Ministry secretary Nick Mangwana accused Chamisa of using any opportunity to score cheap political points.
“It is tragic that some would choose to score very cheap political points after snatching power at Tsvangirai’s funeral wake.
“There was never a discussion regarding a transitional authority and all conversations including television interviews were on getting the transition by the obtaining provisions of the Constitution,” Mangwana said.
Chamisa railroaded the MDC national council and other party organs into endorsing him initially as interim leader hours after news filtered through that Tsvangirai had lost his two year battle with colon cancer at a private facility in South Africa.
Despite apparent public disquiet, Chamisa went ahead and was later installed as substantive party leader amid a vicious power struggle pitting him against two other vice presidents Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri as well as secretary general Douglas Mwonzora.
Khupe sulked and broke ranks with Chamisa, before winning a court battle to retain the MDC-T name. However, her faction seems to be dying a natural death.
Mangwana let rip at Chamisa describing the youthful politician’s actions as dishonourable.
“Sadly we are in a polarised country, were some callous people will seek political dividend out of anything and everything.
“Lets honour and celebrate Tsvangirai’s life without trying to milk every ounce of political advantage out of his legacy. This is unconscionable,” the government spokesperson said.
According to Mangwana, Mnangagwa and Tsvangirai never met before the Zanu PF leader’s first inauguration following the coup. Instead, Mangwana said the former Prime Minister met with emissaries at which an agreement was reached regarding Mugabe’s impeachment.
“From the moment President Mnangagwa was sacked from government as Vice President, he did not make any contact with Tsvangirai up until he asked for him to be invited to his inauguration.
“However there was contact between Zanu PF and Tsvangirai initially through Douglas Mwonzora and Murisi Zwizwai on one hand and Paul Mangwana on the other hand. This culminated in a meeting between these parties and Tsvangirai,” the secretary said.
Mangwana paid tribute to Tsvangirai for putting the interests of the country before him.
“When the issue of a bipartisan approach to impeaching Robert Mugabe was broached, Tsvangirai readily offered the MDC’s parliamentary support unconditionally and credit must be given to him for not trying to milk either personal or political capital from this.
“As conversations carried on , the issue of the Highlands House and his pension came up. It was then that Zanu PF said they would advise the incoming President (Mnangagwa) to look into those matters,” Mangwana added.
“President Mnangagwa came to power after being nominated both as interim Zanu PF leader and national leader. He immediately honoured the principles of the conversations between the two parties and went way beyond in his efforts to detoxify Zimbabwe’s politics, building national consensus towards re-building the country. This is what culminated in his invitation to all political leaders to his inauguration and his subsequent visit to stricken Tsvangirai at his residence and two weeks later the State began meeting his medical bills as well as later all expenses related to his repatriation after his tragic demise.”
Government according to Mangwana also met all funeral costs adding Mnangagwa has done the same thing to former President Canaan Banana’s widow Janet to return home from the United Kingdom.