JUSTICE minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife was blocked from running for Parliament in Mashonaland Central province because she married a “foreigner” — so to speak.
According to The Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru, the Justice minister’s wife was categorically told she stood “not a chance” after she sought to run in the Mashonaland Central constituency where she grew up.
Mashonaland Central is vice-president Joice Mujuru’s main political base.
The VP is one of the leading contenders to take over from Mugabe, but she is said to face a formidable challenge for the position from Mnangagwa, the husband.
Manheru — who is widely believed to be President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba — claimed the Mashonaland Central provincial executive told Mnangagwa’s wife to try her luck where she looked for a husband — in the Midlands.
“The curt response from the provincial leadership was: Go back to where you married and let your in-laws find you a constituency,” Manheru wrote.
“We don’t promote daughters who have eloped, daughters who prosper other families!”
He added: “Thank God, the in-laws were hospitable; they obliged and she got a constituency to run for. She won it, not just by a huge margin against opposition opponents, but also drew very high votes for the party numerically.”
Mnangagwa’s wife won in the Midlands with a stunning majority in a result that drew the scorn of MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai who claimed the elections were rigged.
Still, Manheru wondered if it was right for her to be blocked from Mashonaland Central, it would also not be proper to bar Mujuru from the same province for the same reasons.
He asked: “How does a provincial leadership disqualify Mai Mnangagwa on grounds of rules of marriage without implying matching disqualification for Vice-President Mujuru who stood in Mashonaland Central and yet is betrothed to Mashonaland East, so to speak?
“Would the leadership dare a whole Vice-President of the party? So why introduce a criterion which takes the debate so uncomfortably to the leadership, without that leadership ever asking for it?”
— New Zimbabwe