HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwe’s Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has made a rare move to attack his
colleague by issuing a press statement chastising Vice President Emmerson
Mnangagwa for claiming that his recent illness was a result of deliberate
dated Oct. 3 when Mphoko was acting president while President Robert Mugabe was
in South Africa, was published Thursday.
recently quoted by state radio as saying that he had been poisoned on August 12
on the day of a rally that was addressed by Mugabe in Gwanda, Matabeleland South
likened his situation to that of the late minister of state for Masvingo
Province Shuvai Mahofa who was allegedly poisoned at a ruling Zanu-PF conference
in Victoria Falls in 2015.
early August, with sections of the media attributing the death to the alleged
Mphoko said contrary to Mnangagwa’s statement, his doctor had confirmed to
Mugabe, in Mnangagwa’s presence, that he had not been poisoned.
Mnangagwa of challenging Mugabe’s public account of the events that followed his
“It must be
said that Mnangagwa’s statement that he was poisoned, when his medical doctor
has authoritatively said he was not, is disappointing,” Mphoko said.
“There is now
little doubt, if there ever was any, that there appears to be an agenda to
undermine the authority of President Mugabe and to destabilize the country by
using lies to fan ethnic tensions for political purposes. This must stop and do
so sooner rather than later,” Mphoko said.
grappling with factionalism centering around Mugabe’s successor. Mnangagwa is
accused of leading a faction eying the presidency while another group which has
coalesced around Mphoko and Mugabe’s wife Grace is determined to block the
had two vice presidents since 1988.