20 August 2017

Zimbabwe: VP's 'Poison' Saga in Dramatic Twist

Photo: The Herald
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

President Robert Mugabe has been briefed that senior Zanu PF officials in Masvingo are telling their supporters that Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa fell ill after eating ice-cream from the first family's dairy, an explosive report shedding light on the shocking extent of divisions in Zanu PF reveals.

Mugabe was given the intelligence report titled, Worrying developments, abuse and trends observed at the funeral of Hon. Shuvai Mahofa, at an impromptu Zanu PF politburo meeting that decided the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister's hero status last Wednesday.

It details how Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and other Masvingo MPs aligned to the G40 faction were abused at Mahofa's funeral wake with the alleged tacit approval of named senior Zanu PF officials aligned to Mnangagwa's faction.

Mzembi was accused of being Mugabe's "blue eyed" boy who was sent to administer the poison that allegedly killed Mahofa.

The dramatic events happened a few days after Mnangagwa was airlifted from a Gwanda rally addressed by Mugabe where the VP started vomiting and suffered from severe diarrhoea.

His supporters claim he ate poisoned food, with some alleging it was ice-cream.

The explosive report that warns of a potential revolt in Masvingo and Midlands provinces because of deepening factionalism is scathing against Mnangagwa's top allies Josiah Hungwe, July Moyo, Zanu PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke, Masvingo provincial chairman Ezra Chadzamira, Zanu PF deputy secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana and

former Zanu PF secretary for youth affairs Pupurai Togarepi, among others.

The officials are accused being behind the coordinated attack against Mugabe at the funeral wake and keeping quiet when Zanu PF youths made statements insinuating that Mnangagwa and Mahofa were given poisoned ice cream from Gushungo Dairies.

According to the report, Mugabe's Gushungo Dairies has become a target in the factional wars sparked by the dispute over 93 year-old ruler's succession, which escalated in recent weeks.

"It is evident that there is a conspiracy against Gushungo Dairy Farm," reads part of the report."

"The intention in this case is to insinuate that food poisoning is coming from the President's farm and secondly, they want to cause a market boycott against Gushungo Dairy products.

"This is a well-orchestrated plan meant to vilify Gushungo diary owners who are President and his family."

The report recommended that the youths must reveal the source of their information on the alleged poisoning.

"These youths who were led by (Nobert) Ndaarombe, the youth chairman, must be held accountable as they need to reveal who is behind the conspiracy against Gushungo Dairy products they allege is laced with poison," the report adds.

"Clearly, Cdes July Moyo, Matuke, Chadzamira, mangwana and Cde Togarepi had planned this public abuse and attacks on other party leaders.

"They were responsible for the threats and chasing away or forced departures of Hon Mzembi, Dr Paul Chimedza and Hon Jeppy Jaboon from the funeral of Cde Mahofa."

On Wednesday Jaboon, who is the Masvingo provincial political commissar and Fiona Ricket, a member of the Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans' Association, believed to be pro-G40 members were ejected from Mahofa's funeral.

Mzembi was also heckled but did not leave Mahofa's Rodene residence.

A day later, Mwenezi East MP Joosbi Omar and Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairperson Veronic Makonese were heckled and accused of killing Mahofa.

The youths sang derogatory songs such as "Ndimi makauraya" (you are the one who killed her) in apparent reference to G40.

But Ndaarombe denied ordering the ejection of Jaboon at the funeral which Makonese said was a factional charade.

Chadzamira also professed ignorance, saying legislators from rival factions had attended the wake and were not chased away.

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