LATEST: Former deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara BLASTS President ED Mnangagwa

Professor Arthur Mutambara

Former Zimbabwean deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara has criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s decision to grant national hero status to Ndabaningi Sithole, the founding president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu).

Sithole had been denied the honour by Mugabe due to their personal history, and died while facing treason charges in the US in 2000.

Mutambara described the move as a “fraudulent charade” and argued that Zimbabweans had always viewed Sithole as a hero without needing Zanu-PF’s endorsement.

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He also claimed that Mnangagwa was not qualified to speak on Sithole’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s liberation.

“Zanu PF is not qualified to make or unmake Sithole’s hero status,” Mutambara told The Standard.

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“More specifically, Mnangagwa (given his limited, frivolous and undecorated involvement in the liberation struggle) is not qualified to speak on Ndabaningi Sithole’s heroic contributions to the liberation of Zimbabwe.”

“Throughout his life in independent Zimbabwe, Sithole suffered persecution and harassment at the hands of Zanu PF and its government.”

“Hence the fraudulent charade and vote-buying gimmick at Freedom Farm today must be condemned with the contempt that they deserve,” Mutambara fumed.

Sithole was a significant opposition force against Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, particularly in Chipinge where he had a strong support base.

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