Zibagwe — Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened unspecified action against Tongaat Hulett and Bikita Minerals accusing the two foreign-owned companies of working with those plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe.
By Blessed Mhlanga
Officially launching his wife’s election campaign for the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe by election yesterday, Mnangagwa alleged the two companies funded covert operations by ousted VP Joice Mujuru and her allies before Zanu PF’s December congress.
“What do we say to Tongaat Hullet and Bikita Minerals which were behind funding Didymus Mutasa and his ‘gamatox’ team who wanted to remove President Mugabe from power even by killing him?” he said to a crowd of more than 10 000 supporters most of whom were bussed for the rally.
Mnangagwa said it was because of the South Africa-owned Tongaat Hulett that Minister of State for Masvingo Kudakwashe Bhasikiti was fired from his position by Mugabe last week.
“Bhasikiti was fired because of Tongaat Hulett and they should be warned that we will not hesitate to deal with them,” said the VP without elaborating.
Officials from Tongaat Hullett and Bikita Minerals could not be reached for comment yesterday. The stock exchange listed Bikita Minerals is owned by Mwana Africa, a South African based pan-African, multi-commodity resources company focused on the production, development and exploration of gold, nickel, copper and diamonds.
When issuing the threats, Mnangagwa said during the liberation struggle he was trained to kill.
“As you heard before (from Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere) I was trained to shoot to kill the enemy. But now it’s different. I will not shoot but will deal with these companies for their role with the gamatox,” he said.
Gamatox , a toxic pesticide, is the term now widely used to describe the Zanu PF faction aligned to Mujuru and fired former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa.
During the rally which was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Mumbengegwi, Psychomotor Minister Josiah Hungwe, over 60 MP’s and top government officials, Mnangagwa also warned those who left Zanu PF of cold days ahead.
“Nobody has ever left Zanu PF and has been successful. We all know that. So those who have gone are in the minority and those of us still in the party stand in the majority and it is warm this side we stand because we are the rulers while you are the ruled,” he said.
Kasukuwere had earlier warned that he would not hesitate to recall all Zanu PF MPs previously aligned to Mujuru who failed to reform and align with the new order.
“All those who continue to behave the gamatox way will be withdrawn from parliament and we will hold a by election in that constituency the same way we dealt with Mutasa and (Temba) Mliswa. We will be having by elections in their constituencies,” he said.
Kasukuwere challenged Mutasa to stand as an independent candidate in the by elections which will be held in his Headlands constituency if he felt that he was “man enough.”
“We are invincible and we will not be defeated. Even in 2008 when some of us whom we now call gamatox attempted to get us out of power we prevailed. So tell Mutasa that if he thinks he can challenge Zanu PF he should stand in the upcoming elections then he will see what we will do to him,” he said.
Zanu PF will be represented by Auxillia Mnangagwa in the March 27 by elections in Zibagwe Chirumanzu constituency in a poll boycotted by the main opposition party MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa was given a presidential welcome when he arrived for the rally, with over 500 youths led by Gokwe Kana MP Owen Ncube including children of white farmers who were toy-toying in front of his motorcade as he arrived at the venue which is owned by Cabinet Secretary Misheck Sibanda.
The youths clad in party regalia, ran in front of Mnangagwa’s six-car motorcade for almost a kilometre singing and praising him as a fearless commander appointed to serve them by Mugabe.
Jah Prayzah and Sulumani Chimbetu were billed to entertain the supporters while members from the army assisted in cooking tonnes of food to feed supporters.