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VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa has chickened out of an all-stakeholders meeting which was set for Bulawayo as pressure mounts on him to apologise over his recent comment that the late Joshua Nkomo was a sell-out.
According to Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial administrator Khonzani Ncube, Mnangagwa was meant to have a consultative meeting on Thursday at the small and large city halls between 9am and 2pm.
But it emerged on Wednesday that the VP had to cancel his trip fearing that he could meet with hostility as pressure groups were reportedly mobilising a demonstration against him.
Minister for Bulawayo province Eunice Sandi-Moyo confirmed the cancellation of the meeting.
She said Mnangagwa was busy and would visit the province when time was available.
“Yes the meeting has been cancelled. The VP is very busy,” said Sandi-Moyo.
Recently, Mnangagwa provoked fury after he told a London-based New African magazine that Nkomo lost the 1980 elections because he represented white interests while President Robert Mugabe stood for the wishes of black people.
His statement caused a stir within his Zanu PF party with some alleging that the VP was being disrespectful of the late national hero.
Politburo members, Jonathan Moyo among them, have rebuked the VP for his utterance, saying any suggestion that Nkomo was a sell-out was “unfortunate”.
Mnangagwa’s comments on Nkomo were blamed for last weekend’s violence at the burial of the former minister Sikhanysio Ndlovu.
Some Zanu PF members, thought to be Grace Mugabe’s supporters, pitched up at the Heroes Acre clad in T-Shirts emblazoned with Nkomo’s and Mugabe’s images.
The images were largely seen as a symbolic rebuke of the VP.
This did not go down well with some youths who confronted the alleged Grace crew leading to a public rumpus.
The youths are thought to have been Mnangagwa’s supporters.
Generally, Mnangagwa is both disliked and despised in Matebeleland as many people see him as having been the chief engineer of the 1980s Gukurahundi killings which claimed 20 000 lives.
Following Mnangagwa’s comments on Nkomo, former national healing minister Moses-Mzila Ndlovu said the VP was a “filthy coward” targeting a “dead man”.
Ahead of that, many expressed displeasure when Mnangagwa was made the main guest at the ceremony where Makokoba-MP Tshinga Dube officially handed over a bus to the local football team, Highlanders. source-newzimbabwe
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