CHRIS Mutsvangwa recently stunned the country by exposing as an elaborate hoax Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s never-independently-verified war legend which claims she – in her brave lonesome – shot down a Rhodesian helicopter with a machine gun.
Now the junior foreign minister has been nominated to take over as war veterans boss, replacing Jabulani Sibanda who was expelled from Zanu PF last week.
He had also vowed to oppose what he described as the president’s bedroom coup amid speculation the veteran and ageing leader was preparing the ground for his wife, Grace, to succeed him.
Mutsvangwa’s nomination was confirmed at the war veterans’ congress underway in Masvingo – the first such gathering in eleven years.
According to state radio, the congress was ordered by Mugabe following Sibanda’s expulsion from Zanu PF.
Mutsvangwa has been one of the leading public voices in the savage Zanu PF campaign against Mujuru, which has seen her accused of corruption, incompetence and plotting to unseat Mugabe.
At a pre-budget seminar held in Victoria Falls last week, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said a ban on poultry imports aimed at protecting local industry had been reversed to allow a top official to import chicken from Brazil.
“In my mid-term statement I banned the importation of chickens and so on. The very ministry which asked us to ban went ahead and issued the permit to undermine that very policy,” said Chinamasa.
“Only Parliament can expose that, not just exposing to say the ministry but we want to know who did it and for what reason.”
The beneficiary of the reversal of the ban, Mutsvangwa revealed, was the beleaguered vice-president.
“If you bring smuggled poultry and pig products from outside our borders at prices that are well below the local farmer, it means you are ruining the commercial farmer.
“That’s exactly what happened. You have effectively sabotaged the land reform programme because no Zimbabwean farmer can be viable.”
“It was the most effective way of saying the land reform programme has failed and thereby justifying the return of whites.”