Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was on Saturday caught up in a humiliating Pamberi Nemhandu (loosely translated, forward with sell outs) gaffe three months after his principal President Robert Mugabe chanted Pasi neZanu-PF (down with Zanu-PF) denouncing Zanu-PF at the ruling party’s congress in December.
After realising that he had jumbled up the party slogan, Mnangagwa quickly made amends, apologizing for the gaffe.
Mnangagwa made the gaffe while addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Bob Swift shopping centre in Midlands province where his wife Auxillia launched her by-election campaign to become the MP for Zibagwe-Chirumanzu constituency.
Mnangagwa also unwittingly exposed Zanu-PF’s election-rigging strategies when he told party members that they had devised a system where traditional leaders, ward chairpersons and councillors would closely monitor their subjects to ensure they voted for the ruling party’s candidates in the forthcoming by-elections slated for March 2.
Addressing Zanu-PF members at the launch of his wife Auxilia’s election campaign for the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, Mnangagwa said they would monitor voting patterns, apply intimidatory tactics and trail voters so that they voted for the ruling party candidates in the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe and Mt Darwin West by-elections. He warned that those who failed to vote for the ruling party would be effectively closed out of government programmes by what he termed ruzhowa [perimeter fence]. He also insinuated that those known to be against the party should not be given a chance to cast their vote.
“What has brought us together is an election which is coming Auxillia will be contesting with three other candidates which candidates do not have a history, and I don’t even know what these people have done in their lives,” Mnangagwa said.