Internal political challenges face Zimbabwe’s Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi on Friday at home. According to an article in the Zimbabwe Standard, he said there is a sinister plot in Zanu Patriotic Front (PF) to undermine President Robert Mugabe through factionalism, singling out Midlands and Masvingo as problem areas.
Mzembi told a Masvingo South constituency management committee at Renco Mine that senior Zanu PF leaders were now using coded language to attack Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
“We now need special gifts to discern factional messages and coded signals passing for poetry and innuendos now undermining leadership,” he said.
“People at the top are now speaking in idioms. Be careful and do not accept every word from the leadership unless the message is from the president.”
Mzembi added: “Then there are some among us cloning the president. They claim to speak on his behalf.
“President vati, hee ndabva kuna president [the president said . . . I am coming from the president]. I thought he had his own mouth, quite a reputable one to articulate for himself, so why would anyone seek to speak for him in vain?”
He warned leaders in the ruling party against sowing seeds of division among supporters
“Masvingo Province cannot take a Bantustan trajectory and raise Bantu Holamisas of this world,” Mzembi said.
“Instead, we should aim to mentor national leaders and statesmen who can contribute to the development of the country.
“It should be our collective responsibility to bring the best out of the people of Masvingo and no one should be made to feel like a nobody.
“The recent culture of political cursing seemingly being imported into the province should not be tolerated. It’s a dangerous culture.
“I am particularly worried about the patronising relationship of the Midlands province on Masvingo, one pregnant with tribal and regional connotations.
“Going into the future, we can’t sustain a relationship built on faulty foundations.”
He added: “We cannot afford to foment ethnic valences that conversely unite others against us in the two provinces, nor communicate a message of senior brotherhood over Masvingo.
“People should not be fed with hate or superiority complex narratives, if it is happening elsewhere we don’t want it here for whatever reason.
“If you were on this path already, seek to be born again ideologically and reaffirm your loyalties to centre politics and the president. Masvingo Zanu PF, be born again.”
Without mentioning his name, Mzembi took a swipe at Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa for comments he made at the memorial service for the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Shuvai Mahofa in Gutu recently.
“To hear a national leader recite poetry that is pregnant with riddles in the song kumagumo kune nyaya [the end spell trouble] at this stage, with all the attendant sensitivities in our political midst is to put a foot in one’s mouth,” he said.
“Armageddon language such as kumagumo kune nyaya is only found in Revelations in itself a chapter captured in prophetic and cryptic cataclysmic language about the end of the world.
“It can only invoke fear about an end game that them only have designed for others.”
He said “big brother politics” was not useful in Masvingo.
“Coming into the province to reinforce narratives like ‘nhire’ [stubbornness] among what the Midlanders think are their faithful, especially at a memorial service when the same term has been used recently to abuse some of us at a funeral service of the same heroine leaves us with no doubt as to the source of this hate speech,” Mzembi added.
“It leaves us no longer guessing about its chilling execution in the fullness of time! This cannot earn anybody support.”
Mzembi was harassed at Mahofa’s funeral at her Rhodene home in Masvingo after he was accused by Team Lacoste members of being a blue-eyed boy of the first family.
On allegations of being a G40 member, Mzembi had this to say: “I have no problem with being called a G40. Even though I am well past 40, but these labels should be about “G. ideas”, “G. vision” or “G. purpose”, not just numbers but a debate of superiority of ideas that change people’s lives for the better.”
The minister, who has also been labelled a “sell out” in Masvingo, which is predominantly pro-Lacoste, said he would continue informing Mugabe about what was happening in the province.
“It is an eternal covenant I made and I am not a sell out, but I submit to the one above me and I am playing my role of being an advisor,” he said.
“I will continue advising him and why should anyone cry foul about my mandate and its attendant oaths of loyalty and allegiance?
“I have been doing it for 10 years. There are others who have served for 37 years and they should know better and stop interpreting that advisory role that we play as ministers.
“The president relies on us and brokering meetings between him and those constituencies we come from does not in any way amount to selling out.”