ZANU-PF officials deny VP Mnangagwa snub

ZANU-PF officials deny VP Mnangagwa snub | The Herald April 1, 2016

Abel Zhakata and Samuel Kadungure in MUTARE
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa cut a lone figure during his visit to Mutare yesterday as no Government or Zanu-PF officials pitched up to welcome him on his arrival at the Golden Peacock and Amber hotels, where he addressed a consultative workshop on human rights and captains of industries, respectively.

Cde Mnangagwa, who was on official Government business, first went to Golden Peacock Hotel where he arrived in a convoy of two vehicles, disembarked and walked all the way up to the hotel conference room with his aides only.

At Amber Hotel, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Mike Bimha, was the only senior Government official to receive him together with a few officials from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).

Key absentees at the CZI indaba included the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene, who was supposed to deliver welcome remarks, Provincial Administrator Mr Fungai Mbetsa and the Zanu-PF provincial leadership.

Zanu-PF provincial chairperson Dr Samuel Undenge, who is also Energy and Power Development Minister, only pitched up in the afternoon during a tour of Quest Motors and Cairns Foods.

Cde Chimene was attending a war veterans’ preparatory meeting in Harare and she sent her principal director, Mr Lucky Basopo, to represent her.

Finance Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa, who also had a chair reserved for him at the CZI high table, had not arrived by late afternoon.

Minister Chimene said she did not snub the meeting but was attending to other business in Harare.

“I did not snub the meeting but was attending a war veterans meeting in Harare on preparations for the meeting with President Mugabe.

“Why would I snub the meeting? I made an apology and told others that I will not be around on Thursday was in Mutare on Wednesday and tomorrow (today) I will be joining VP Mnangagwa. People should not spread lies,” she said.

Minister Chinamasa said he was not aware of the meeting in Mutare and was only hearing it for the first time from the reporter.

“I was never invited to any meeting. You are the first person to tell me the news. Quite frankly and honestly I never got any word about it,” he said.

At the human rights workshop, Cde Mnangagwa, who is also the overseer of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, said Government was ready to address human rights violations, urging members of the public to report transgressions to relevant authorities so that appropriate action was taken.

He said Government was committed to the promotion and protection of human rights.

“It is essential for all Zimbabweans to embrace the Constitution, to understand what it stands for and to fully appreciate the rights and freedoms enshrined therein and granted to them. Once our people understand the Constitution, they will be in a better position to enforce their rights.

“I must point out at this juncture that Government stands ready to address any violations of human rights in the country. However, it is up to the public to ensure that they report such violations to the relevant authorities so that appropriate action is taken,” he said.

Cde Mnangagwa said the country was fulfilling its reporting obligations under various human rights instruments.

“Government recently presented its second periodic report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child and I am reliably informed that the report was well received by the Committee.”

In his address to captains of industry, he implored the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and security agents to effectively seal the country’s porous border posts to curb smuggling.

He said Government was losing millions of dollars in potential revenue to smugglers who evaded paying duty.

Official figures suggest that $2 billion has been siphoned out of the country through criminal activities at the borders, a cancer that should be dealt with decisively.

“Zimra and police should pull up their socks because goods are being smuggled in and outside the country. I do not think if (Cde) Chinamasa hears this he will be happy because the country is losing millions of dollars,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

Cde Mnangagwa also allayed fears of starvation saying Government had mobilised adequate grain.

“We have secured adequate grain to take us through the lean period to the next harvesting season. We are also working on modalities to grow our own food. The District Development Fund (DDF) is getting equipment to drill boreholes countrywide,” he said.