emmerson mnangagwa 02-05-11.jpgDefence Minister, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has dismissed claims by a local weekly newspaper that Service Chiefs and Zanu PF want the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe to go.


In a telephone interview with the ZBC News, Cde Mnangagwa lambasted The Standard newspaper for publishing what he described as nonsense and utter rubbish.


He added that President Robert Mugabe is here to stay, and that claims by The Standard are cheap politicking by the private media working in cahoots with Western sponsors.


“The Standard paper and its western sponsors should stop fooling themselves as Cde Robert Mugabe has proved beyond doubt that he is a tried and tested leader who still commands overwhelming support from his party, Zanu PF,” said Cde Mnangagwa.


The Defence Minister also dismissed, as cheap politicking by the western sponsored paper, claims by the publishers of the paper that Service Chiefs held a teleconference with the President while he was in Singapore, asking him to relinquish power.


In its edition dated 1 May 2011, the weekly Standard newspaper in an unprecedented development, claimed that Service Chiefs and hardliners in Zanu PF have asked President Mugabe to defer elections and appoint a successor.


Cde Mnangagwa said while it is not the first time that The Standard has tried unsuccessfully to cause despondency in Zanu PF through falsehoods, this latest article showed how desperate the paper, which is failing to find relevant news, has become.