AN “annoyed” President Robert Mugabe Saturday dared Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to form his own party as he threatened to sack the under-fire Vice President he accuses of trying to illegally remove him from office.
He was addressing thousands of party followers during his penultimate White City Stadium youth interface rally marred by scenes of his wife, Grace being booed by part of the crowd which was sympathetic to Mnangagwa.
“What I did not expect but which I had a bit of information about was that some people had arranged to send persons here to boo the First Lady,” President Mugabe said.
“The First Lady speaks her mind. We can’t continue being quiet when we hear there are people who continue saying ‘this province (Masvingo) does not belong to Mugabe; this province belongs to Mnangagwa’”.
President Mugabe said there was similar resentment to his continued leadership in Midlands.
“Day in and day out we are insulted…by those people,” he said.
“We are being insulted in Mnangagwa’s name. Did I do wrong by appointing Mnangagwa as my deputy! If I did wrong, then I am demoting him as early as tomorrow.
“If he wants to form his party with those who support him, he must go ahead. We can’t have a party where we ridicule one another. I don’t like that!”
He continued: “Those who want to stand behind me they stand behind me; those who do not want, let them go! Let them go! Hatinyengerere vanhu, hatife takanyengerera vanhu (we will never try to persuade them to remain). It doesn’t matter who.”
The Zimbabwean leader said Zanu PF’s December congress shall decide Mnangagwa’s fate.
“We are going to congress and that is where we are going to decide a lot. But I felt I should say it here because I am annoyed.
“On a day we were telling ourselves we are now concluding our interface (rallies), then we hear all this nonsense,” he said.
President Mugabe said those who are against his rule in Masvingo should be prepared to form their own party.
“We can’t have you insulting us day in, day out. The likes of (Lovemore) Matuke, what are you! What do you think you are! Ok, go your way, we go our way.”
Matuke, a Mnangagwa ally, is Zanu PF chief whip and Gutu Central MP.
President Mugabe’s angry rants followed an earlier address by Grace who railed against VP Mnangagwa for allegedly causing divisions within the beleaguered ruling party.
Grace had scorned President Mugabe’s once trusted aide for throwing spanners into President Mugabe’s much anticipated elevation of his wife to VP saying she had as equal a right to take the job at her husband’s will as Mnangagwa had, equally, imposed his wife, Auxilia Mnangagwa as Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe MP.
Mnangagwa and wife were present at the rally.