On the 4th of October 2017, the Honourable Vice President, Cde R. P. Mphoko, writing in his capacity as the then Acting President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, issued a PRESS STATEMENT dated the 3rd of October 2017 in response to a ZBC News item wherein he purported, inter alia, that I, Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, E.D. Mnangagwa;
“had said for the first time in public I admitted that I was poisoned in Gwanda on August 12, 2017; the day of President Mugabe’s Youth interface Rally in Matabeleland South”.
Following issuance of the PRESS STATEMENT, it has become necessary to put the record straight, and clarify certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations.
- On Saturday 30th of September 2017, I attended the Memorial of the late National Heroine, Cde Shuvai Ben Mahofa, which was held in Gutu. It was a solemn and somber memorial gathering and not an emotionally charged one as described in the statement. It was attended by church denominations, family members, friends and Party members who were celebrating the life of the late national heroine. The subjective description of the event as an ‘emotionally charged gathering’ is a figment of the imagination of the author. An extract of my address to the gathering was flighted on the ZBC News on 2nd October 2017, where I stated the following; please note that I have taken the liberty to transcribe what I said personally and that which was said by the ZBC News reporter.
QUOTE (as transcribed)
Masvingo ZBC Reporter, Josephine Mugiyo
“Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is on record of never consuming ice cream from Gushungo Dairy revisited his sickness story during the gathering at Cde Shuvai Mahofa. He told the gathering that he indeed survived poisoning. He clearly stated that he never consumed ice cream from Gushungo Dairy. The Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa noted that what happened to Cde Shuvai Mahofa in 2015 in Victoria Falls is the same fate that transpired on him in Gwanda but he survived because God’s time was still on him”.
Honourable Vice President, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa (as translated)
“I think that what happened to Cde Shuvai Mahofa in 2015 is what happened to me in Gwanda. On 12 August 2017, I was taken to Gweru then to South Africa. On 14 August 2017 Cde Mahofa died. I did not know anything or what was happening. I learnt of Cde Mahofa’s death on Wednesday, when I gained consciousness”.
Masvingo Reporter, Josephine Mugiyo
“The Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa missed the burial. He ended by saying that he will pass on gratitude to His Excellency, the President for declaring Cde Mahofa a national heroine”.
- It is indeed factual that I fell ill in Gwanda and was airlifted to Gweru and then Harare before subsequently being airlifted to South Africa. I never said that I was poisoned in Gwanda but that I fell ill in Gwanda. Equally, the late National Heroine, Cde S.B. Mahofa fell ill during the 15th National People’s Conference of ZANU PF held in Victoria Falls in 2015. She was taken to hospital in Zimbabwe and subsequently to South Africa. Therein is the extent of the similarities of events which I allude to during my address.
- During the briefing with His Excellency, the President, Cde, R.G. Mugabe, the medical doctors who attended to me ruled out food poisoning but confirmed that indeed poisoning had occurred and that investigations were still in progress. They however established that poisoning had indeed occurred and investigations were in progress.
- On the issue of the Press Statement dated 31st August 2017 which I made on the eve of the Midlands Presidential Youth Interface Rallyheld in Gweru on 1st September 2017. I stated the following, and for the avoidance of doubt, I repeat that statement in total;
I, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, State Vice President and Vice President and Second Secretary of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) Party, would like to put the record straight regarding my alleged consumption of ice cream form Gushungo dairy at the High Table on the occasion of the Youth Interface Rally at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Provinc, on Saturday, 12 August v2017.
No such thing ever occurred.
The insinuation that I partook of the ice cream from the dairy I being peddled by unscrupulous elements with the sinister agenda of creating a rift between me and the First Family, lower market confidence in products from the dairy and cause unnecessary alarm and despondency among peace-loving Zimbabweans.
- During the Ordinary Session of the Politburo held on 6 September 2017 band the Ordinary Session of the Central Committee held on 8 September, 2017, I informed the meeting that my doctors had said that I was not food poisoned. I did not state that poison had been ruled out. It is ost disappointing that a person at the level of my colleague Vice President, Cde R.P. Mphoko would mis-understand and misrepresent the statements made by His Excellency, The President Cde R.G. Mugabe, and myself.
- My commitment to national unity, peace and stability is undoubted and unquestionable, as espoused in the National Constitution Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013, Chapter 1, section 3(2) (h) which obligates the fostering of national unity, peace and stability, with due regard to diversity of language, customary practices and traditions.
- The Constitution of the Ruling Party, ZANU Pf, Article 3, section 21c subsection 5 states that QUOTE; every member of the Party shall have the duty to conduct himself/herself honestly and honourably in his or her dealings with the Party and the Public and not to bring the Party into disrepute or ridicule…” END QUOTE.
It is, thus, very disturbing that my colleague Vice President of the Republic, and Second Secretary of the Party, Cde R.P. Mphoko who is a trained cadre and veteran of the liberation struggle, would issue a statement which goes against the spirit and grain of our national Constitution Founding Values and Principles and which is further alien to the revolutionary ethos, culture and decorum of our Party ZANU PF. It is further disconcerting that the statement is littered with subjective falsehoods, mischievous perceptions and malicious innuendoes written in a language and tone which is disrespectful and contemptuous to my person and indeed to the Office I occupy, that of Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Party ZANU PF. The statement is bent on causing alarm, disunity and despondency amongst peace loving Zimbabweans and the intimated agenda in the statement may exist only in the mind of the author.
I have an impeccable history of unflinching loyalty to the Party and his Excellency, the President, Cde R.G. Mugabe and have never acted in a manner that undermines his authority or the stability of Zimbabwe.
I thank you.
Honourable E.D. Mnangagwa
Vice President and Minister Responsible for the Administration of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
5 October 2017