President Emmerson Mnangagwa had indicated he may not attend Thursday’s national prayer breakfast meeting organised by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), it has been learnt.
Mnangagwa has been slammed for his non-appearence and his cause has not been assisted by Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi’s utterances indicating the President had cancelled in order to spite opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
Chamisa snubbed a meeting convened by Mnangagwa of last year’s presidential candidates that was meant to discuss a framework for possible dialogue to unlock the country’s socio-political and economic logjam. The opposition leader however was at the ZCC event and declared he was ready to meet Mnangagwa “even now.”
ZCC secretary general Reverend Kenneth Mtata said Mnangagwa in his acceptance letter to grace the event had indicated he might fail and would send a proxy.
“We did not receive a formal communication on why the President didn’t come but it was clearly stated in the letter which we received from the President’s office which said that if he fails to come he will send a delegate to represent him.” said Mtata
Mtata could not divulge more contents of the letter in question stating that it was confidential.
Mnangagwa was represented by Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu.
However, the event’s official program showed Mnangagwa was supposed to be the keynote speaker but the Zanu PF leader seemed to have changed his mind at the last minute.
“He (Mnangagwa) is attending a meeting in Borrowdale. He will be on his way just now,” a source within Mnangagwa’s entourage told Zimbabwe Morning Post before his no show.
Meanwhile, Deputy minister of Information Energy Mutodi defended Mnangagwa’s snub indicating it was deliberate to hit back at Chamisa.
“How can the president come when Chamisa also didn’t come for the brainstorming of the dialogue at State House, we cannot go into negotiations on terms and dictates of someone,” argued Mutodi.
The negativity pervading Zimbabwe has been worsened by Chamisa’s refusal to accept the results of last year’s elections even after the Constitutional Court threw out his petition to overturn Mnangagwa’s controversial win. Chamisa insists he won the presidential poll and effectively wants Mnangagwa to hand over power to him.