Zimbabwe’s government has condemned Deputy Finance Minister Terence Mukupe for reportedly saying the army will not accept opposition leader Nelson Chamisa as president.
Mr Mukupe’s comments, if true, were “reckless” and did not reflect the position of the government, ruling Zanu-PF party and the military, actiing Minister for Information Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement.
Such comments “amount to direct contempt” of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and “imperil national peace and stability”, the statement added.
Mr Mukupe was quoted by the privately owned NewsDay website dismissing Mr Chamisa, 40, as a “child”, adding the generals who forced ex-President Robert Mugabe to resign in November would not hand power to him.
“How can we say, honestly, the soldiers took the country, practically snatched it from Mugabe, to come and hand it over to Chamisa?
“This country, where it is now and where it is coming from, needs a grown up, a steady hand, a person who can stabilise things,” he was quoted as saying.
Mr Chamisa plans to run against Mr Mnangagwa, 75, in elections due later this year.
He sees himself as the successor of veteran Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died in February aged 65.
His numerous attempts to dislodge Mr Mugabe from power failed.
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