Mnangagwa plays down diplomatic tiff

Mnangagwa plays down diplomatic tiff April 3, 2014  NewsDay by Veneranda Langa

JUSTICE, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday played down the diplomatic tiff between Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his deputy Christopher Mutsvangwa, describing it as “a minor hiccup”.

This follows reports that Mutsvangwa on Monday tore into his boss Mumbengegwi and Foreign Affairs secretary Joey Bimha, accusing them of running the ministry like a “fiefdom” and failing to consult on crucial matters such as the recent spate between Zimbabwe and the European Union over denial of a visa to First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Mnangagwa was responding to Kuwadzana East MP Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T), who wanted to find out if the differences between the two Zanu PF ministers signified serious disharmony in government.

“I understand that the MP is a member of the MDC-T, which says it believes in democracy and it means people are allowed to air their opinions and are justified to air their views.  I am saying at the end of the day the position of government prevails and not the position of individuals,” Mnangagwa said.

When Chamisa further asked Mnangagwa to explain the government position regarding the EU’s decision to deny Grace Mugabe a visa, Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi (Zanu PF) interjected and overruled Chamisa’s question before acting Speaker Buhera North MP William Mutomba said Mngangagwa was not obliged to answer the second part of Chamisa’s question.

Meanwhile, Health and Child Care deputy minister Paul Chimedza said it was not government policy for women to be detained at health institutions over failure to pay maternity user fees.