By Peter Bolder|
Newly-appointed vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa has launched a major charm offensive to woo voters in his Zvishavane home town, who accuse him of ‘shamelessly’ abandoning them.
Mnangagwa left Zvishavane in the 1980s to set up base in Kwe Kwe, where he became MP for several terms before being dethroned by the MDC’s Blessing Chebundo.
On Saturday, women who claimed to have been sent by Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia Mnangagwa, were seen by our correspondent going around Zvishavane, promising voters various things.
“We have a programme for women, where Mrs Mnangagwa will give each household in Zvishavane twenty chicks to rear. This is her way of expressing gratitude to the people of her home town for supporting her husband to become vice president,” said one of the registering officials, who showed a long list of names. “Mrs Mnangagwa has said we must register people of all political parties but, of course, we are just listing Zanu PF members from our faction.”
A day earlier, on Friday January 2, Mnangagwa had ordered that Sabi gold mine near Zvishavane be re-opened and that workers be paid $200 each from their outstanding salaries.
A Zanu PF majority in the mining town supported sacked vice president Joice Mujuru but the pro-Mnangagwa John Holder became MP after Francis Murombedzi and Obert Matshalaga were disqualified. However, Holder is not respected by the local party leadership and rank and file.
Mnangagwa is now desperate to re-establish himself in his home town after Kwe Kwe voters turned hostile and he was relegated to the rural Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency.
Sources said Auxillia Mnangagwa was eyeing the Zvishavane-Ngezi parliamentary seat in the next election.
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