The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: VP Mujuru Denies Leading Party Faction

VICE President Joice Mujuru has dismissed as misplaced, reports that she leads a faction in Zanu-PF vying for control of the party with secretary for legal affairs, Defence Minister Emerson Mnangangwa. VP Mujuru's and Minister Mnangagwa's names are often touted in some sections of the media as front-runners in the race to succeed President Mugabe.

Speaking at a Zanu-PF provincial meeting held in Harare yesterday, Vice President Mujuru said contrary to what some people think, she had no faction and anyone claiming to belong to her faction was misguided.

"I have no faction. Handina vanhu vangu. Vanhu ndeve Zanu-PF. (I do not control any people. The people belong to Zanu-PF)," she said.

"Those who claim to belong to my faction are lying because there is no faction to talk of. We must not put individual interests ahead of the party's," she added.

VP Mujuru also castigated people who practised double standards switching from party to party in search of glory without seeking ways of making Zanu-PF the people's party as it used to do in the past.

"I am President Mugabe's runner-girl. I go to his people.

"I want to hear their problems. Handidi kutyiwa ndinoda kuremekedzwa (I do not want to be feared, I want to be respected). If we worked as war veterans yesterday let us now leave that to do what is needed today," she said.

Late last month, Minister Mnangagwa described as "creations of the media" claims of bad blood between him and VP Mujuru saying he enjoyed cordial working relations with the Vice President.

Minister Mnangagwa also dismissed claims that he was leading a faction in Zanu-PF opposed to Vice President Mujuru.

In an interview after the launch of the Week without Violence outreach programme organised by the Young Women Christian Association in Gweru on October 28, Minister Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF is a revolutionary party which could not afford factionalism.

He accused the media of publishing unfounded reports about him.

"I have often questioned the credibility of editors of media organisations publishing fabricated stories of factionalism within Zanu-PF.

"I have only came across this issue of Mnangagwa leading a faction through the Press and this is mere speculation as there is nothing like that."

The minister said he enjoyed a good working relationship at both party and Government levels with the Vice President.

"I have no problems with the Vice President (Cde Mujuru).

"We have got good working relations at various forums and the talk of bad blood between the two of us is again framing on the part of the media. You can go and ask your editor on my behalf where do they get all these unfounded allegations," he said.

The minister said as a party, Zanu-PF needed to prepare for the pending election and focus on wining the election.

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