Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa - Foolish and Ignorant Chamisa Needs Growing Up

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa needs to learn to familiarise himself with how government operates, President Emmerson Mnangagwa's spokesperson George Charamba has said.

Charamba reacted angrily to Chamisa's unsolicited rant at Mnangagwa, in a speech delivered at the late national hero Dumiso Dabengwa's graveside on Saturday. Dabengwa was buried in his Ntabazinduna home.

While Chamisa was not initially billed to speak, when he got his hands on the microphone, he let rip at Mnangagwa, accusing the Zanu PF leader and his lieutenants of "snubbing" the liberation war stalwart and former Cabinet Minister in his death.

"He (Chamisa) is not only foolish but ignorant as regards how government works. We could give you a list of 20 other heroes who chose not to be laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre. On all these occasions, it was not the President who presided but junior government officials," said Charamba.

"If we are to take Chamisa's warped understanding of issues, then it means President Mnangagwa snubbed (Oliver) Mtukudzi."

Iconic singer Mtukudzi, who died early this year, was declared a national hero and was laid to rest at his Madziwa rural home. President Mnangagwa did not attend the burial.

In his speech at the Dabengwa burial, Chamisa said he had been shocked by Mnangagwa's absence and drew parallels with South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa who sent a representative.

"Is it not a sad indictment that we have President Cyril Ramaphosa sending somebody to represent, yet we have our Vice Presidents and President not coming to honour this man," Chamisa said to applause.

But Charamba said Zimbabwe has no obligation to copy South Africa.

"We have no obligation to equate ourselves to how the South African government operates. In any case, who says the equivalence of a South African government representative at the funeral would have been the President of Zimbabwe?

"For someone aspiring to be leader of this country, Chamisa is disappointingly elementary. We dismiss whatever Chamisa says with the contempt it deserves," Mnangagwa's spokesperson said.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who was reportedly mentored by Dabengwa, also did not attend the event. However, several Ministers, Speaker of the National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda, Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Philip Valerio Sibanda and senior Zanu PF officials attended.

Dabengwa died in Nairobi, Kenya en-route to Zimbabwe from India where he had gone to seek specialist medical treatment. Mnangagwa said government had been footing the opposition Zapu leader's medical expenses since April.

His family requested that government allows them a private funeral forcing, Mnangagwa to stay away according to Charamba.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.