A faction of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) – which has the blessings of former president Robert Mugabe – has hit back at President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his claims that his former rivals in the Generation 40 (G40) were behind the bombing in Bulawayo last Saturday, saying he should wait until completion of investigations.
Speaking in an interview with Afro Worldview, NPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said: “Mnangagwa…is the president of the country, he should be telling us what really happened not to tell us about his hunch. If he doesn’t have any facts he should keep quiet.”
“He is the one who is in control of the investigative State apparatus and up until he gets empirical evidence on what happened in Bulawayo, he should keep quiet,” he said.
“The moment he starts pointing fingers at people, name-dropping and accusing people that are even outside the country, we also go into overdrive and begin to speculate…”
Mawarire’s remarks come after Mnangagwa told BBC that he suspected the G40 faction – which supported Mugabe’s wife, Grace, for the presidency, had carried out the attack.
“I don’t know whether it was one individual – I would think it is broader than one person. I would think this is a political action by some aggrieved persons,” he said.
The G40 faction, which was fronted by exiled former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his counterpart Patrick Zhuwao – who is also Mugabe’s nephew – and the former first lady, was rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe.
Asked if he trusted Grace, who was his closest rival to succeed her husband before the military intervention last November, Mnangagwa said he could not trust a person who attacked him before being silenced by a military intervention code-named Operation Restore Legacy.
“On what basis would I trust someone who was used by a cabal to say things that had no basis,” Mnangagwa said, adding that he expects arrests to be made shortly.
Mnangagwa escaped death following a bomb blast soon after he had addressed a rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo. The bomb attack left many ruling party bigwigs and other supporters injured, including Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Zanu-PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, the party’s national political commissar Engelbert Rugeje and several other VVIPs.