PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday conceded that all was not well in his administration, accusing some of his lieutenants of sabotaging him and calling them “wolves in sheep clothing”.
Faced with runaway inflation and persistent rumours to topple him, Mnangagwa yesterday said there were enemies of progress in his government and warned that “their days were numbered”.
He was speaking at the burial of national hero, Stanley Nleya at the National Heroes’ Acre. He also acknowledged that Zimbabwe was facing an economic crisis and pleaded for peace and unity in the face of growing dissent against his tumultuous two-year rule.
“We shall not allow a situation where our people live in chronic insecurity, lack and deprivation. It has become apparent that in our midst, there are wolves in sheep clothing. The end is coming,” he said.
“Let us never be complacent, the war of today is neither guns nor bombs. The war against our economic prosperity is on-going,” Mnangagwa said.
“Rest assured that the enemies of progress and economic growth of our country will never win as long as we remain united. The challenges we face are not insurmountable. I exhort all of us not to surrender, it is not over.”
Two weeks ago, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe made unsolicited claims that members of the opposition, churches, civic organisations, top government and military officials were working with Western diplomats accredited to the country in a plot to oust Mnangagwa.
Kazembe was flanked by the security chiefs and the claims, observers say, exposed Mnangagwa’s fears and instability in both government and ruling party.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst crisis in a decade underlined by galloping inflation which reached 785% in May, daily price increases and fuel shortages.
Mnangagwa and his Finance minister Mthuli Ncube blame western sanctions, alleged economic saboteurs and climate change for the collapse of the economy.
But Mnangagwa yesterday added: “Despite the setbacks we may face, Zimbabwe needs people who choose peace over disharmony, tranquillity over violence, love and peace over hatred, morality, integrity and hard honest work over immorality, laziness and corruption. We must choose justice and truth over lies and falsehoods.”
He also accused senior government officials of corruption, but did not mention names.
Two years after assuming power, Mnangagwa has seen two of his ministers, Health minister Obadiah Moyo and former Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira being arraigned before the courts on corruption charges.
His family has also been dragged into a COVID-19 tender scam involving Drax International whose representative in the country, Delish Nguwaya is a close friend of the First Family.
“On the evident economic malpractices that are present in various forms, my government will never shy away from implementing policies and measures that ensure that the honest workers of our country live honourably,” Mnangagwa said.
Nleya died on Tuesday in Bulawayo and was described yesterday as an “irreplaceable instructor and commander” who trained several decorated commanders that include the current Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Philip Valerio Sibanda.