Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has said he does not belong to the so-called G40 faction in Zanu-PF. The VP said this in the National Assembly on Wednesday. Cde Mphoko said he was not G40 following interjections by some Members of Parliament who shouted, "G40", as he rose to speak. The interjections followed confusion as to who is the leader of Government business in the House, especially following the appointment of Retired Major-General Happyton Bonyongwe as the new Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, a ministry that previously fell under Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa's portfolio.
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Cde Mabel Chinomona, said Cde Mnangagwa would continue in that position as the National Assembly awaits guidance from the appointing authority while VP Mphoko rose and said Minister Bonyongwe was the new leader of the House, sparking the G40 accusations.
"Madam Speaker, I take great exception to being brought to 40 years, I am 77 years old and I can never be G40," said VP Mphoko. The Vice President jokingly said he was G77, alluding to the Group of 77 -- a coalition of developing nations designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity at the United Nations, drawing laughter from Members of Parliament.
"Please G77 is an international organisation. Yes, that is diplomacy," said the Vice President. VP Mphoko has previously called for discipline in Zanu-PF, describing G40 as a "myth". At that time, he also said some misplaced people had attempted to drag the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe's good name into factional politics and warned that that was tantamount to attacking President Mugabe.
"If I want to attack the President, those who think they're clever will say the First Lady leads a faction. There's no difference between the First Lady and President Mugabe. The problem is people over evaluate themselves and see themselves as big people. If you do that you live artificially, be very careful," he said.