6 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Tried to Stage a Coup in 1980, Says Grace

Photo: The Herald
From left, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramai, President Robert Mugabe, and First Lady Grace Mugabe (file photo).

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa tried to stage a coup in 1980 in a bid to take over as the country's first post-independence leader, First Lady Grace Mugabe claimed Sunday.

She was addressing members of the Apostolic church at Harare's Rufaro Stadium at a campaign event billed as 'Super Sunday Churches Interface with the First Lady'.

Mnangagwa has been under sustained public attack by President Robert Mugabe and his wife with the veteran leader threatening in an angry Saturday rant to fire his deputy.

On Sunday, Mugabe's wife picked up from where they left at Bulawayo's youth interface rally and questioned Mnangagwa's claims of unfailing loyalty to her husband going back to the 1970s liberation struggle.

Grace cited the alleged 1980 coup attempt, formation of the opposition United Peoples Movement in 2005 as well as the Lacoste Zanu PF faction as evidence Mnangagwa has always sought to topple her husband from power.

"I have so much information, and it's high time Zimbabweans know the truth," said the furious First Lady while jumping up and down and pumping punching her clinched fist in the air.

"Mnangagwa told the President (Mugabe) that there were people who wanted to assassinate Mugabe, Nyagumbo (Morris) and Nkala (Enock).

"He had made arrangements with Rhodesians, so he warned Mugabe to go out of the country and hide in Mozambique."

She added, "So the President went to Mozambique and told Samora Machel (the late Mozambican President) what was going to happen to him.

"Samora said - Robert go back home now, but the President went to Nyerere as well to update him on the developments after the elections were held.

"But when Mugabe was about to come back he called Mnangagwa and told him that he was coming back but he (the vice president) said, do not come back because he wanted to stage a coup."

Ferocious intra-party drama

Mnangagwa is accused of trying to illegally remove the 93-year-old Mugabe from power, allegations he denies. The vice president appears on the ropes now after what started as a campaign by cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere was taken over by the president and his wife.

The ferocious intra-party drama seems to be following the same script which was used to fire former vice president Joice Mujuru in 2014. She was also accused of plotting a coup but has never been arrested or prosecuted over the charges.

"Mnangagwa is a 'liquidator' he is a 'ravisher', Makhosini (Sports Ministers) go and look for the meaning of these words in the dictionary," said Grace Mugabe on Sunday.

"This man envies other people's success and positions in life to the extent that he may kill someone.

"No one is going to silence me and I am going to say everything out and I want to warn all those who want to divide Zanu PF to stop it."

The First Lady continued; "Mugabe has always been saying this person is factionalist, he has taken Mugabe for granted for too long. Baba is a patient man with a human heart but Mnangagwa has stretched too far.

"When I was at the Manicaland Presidential Interface Youth rally I told the youths that I was getting tired of saying things hiding behind my finger.

"I said watch this space, I cannot go on betraying Zimbabweans and lying to them. I thought Mnangagwa was going to take heed of my warning and stop leading a faction but he continued to do so."

Grace Mugabe also revealed that Mnangagwa rang Mugabe complaining about her after which the Zanu PF leader called a meeting over the issue.

"He was possessed by a demon. When went to Mash Central I said a lot of things about him and he called President complaining about what I had said.

"(During the meeting) I asked him (Mnangagwa) face-to-face where he had issues with my public statements. He couldn't say a word and I want to tell you that Mnangagwa is a coward.

"I am telling you he couldn't open his mouth."

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