VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has deferred his planned consultative meetings with Bulawayo residents which were scheduled for today, with government officials saying the Zanu PF politician had other pressing commitments.
by NQOBILE BHEBHE
Mnangagwa was due to address various stakeholders today and both Large and Small City Halls had been booked for the meetings.
Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial administrator Khonzani Ncube yesterday confirmed the postponement.
“It has been moved to a later date. Remember he is a busy man. He will come when available. I have to find out the proper date,” she said.
Mnangagwa is presently the Acting President in the absence of President Robert Mugabe, who is attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Southern Eye understands that the business community, church leaders, residents’ associations and civic society had been invited to the meetings, which civil society had threatened to boycott.
By postponing the trip, Mnangagwa has probably avoided a potentially sticky situation, as some groups in the second city had threatened protests against the Vice-President over his remarks insinuating that the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was a “sell-out”.
In an interview with New African magazine, Mnangagwa said Nkomo had lost the 1980 elections because he had a soft spot for whites, remarks that have been widely condemned and deepened fissures within Zanu PF.
Mthwakazi Republic Party leader Mqondisi Moyo speculated that it was likely that Mnangagwa was forced to cancel his tour due to pressure caused by his remarks.