Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dismissed as false and malicious, claims by former Education Minister Mr David Coltart that he had made inflammatory statements that could have fomented Gukurahundi killings in the 1980s.
Mr Coltart’s sentiments were published in Alpha Media Holdings’ Southern Eye edition last week.
In a statement yesterday, VP Mnangagwa said: “The Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Honourable E.D Mnangagwa, has noted with concern the contents of an article entitled ‘Coltart Shines Light on VP’s Gukurahundi Role’ which appeared in the Southern Eye section of the NewsDay edition of 17th March 2016.
“The article purports to be quoting extracts from Mr David Coltart’s recent autobiography. The NewsDay article reports that Mr David Coltart alleges in his autobiography that the Honourable Vice President E.D Mnangagwa addressed a rally in Lupane on a date that is not specified, but sometime in the 1980s and said that the Government had the option of ‘burning down…all villages infested with dissidents’ amongst others statements inciting violence against civilians.
“The Vice President E.D Mnangagwa wishes to communicate that all the statements attributed to him in this article are a total fabrication and that at no stage during the 1980s did he address a rally in Lupane nor did he at any other venue utter those words in the article in question.
“The Vice President’s legal practitioners are currently perusing Mr David Coltart’s autobiography to ascertain the accuracy of the report in the NewsDay newspaper before considering appropriate action to be taken to address these false and malicious statements.”
The article further quoted Mr Coltart as stating that VP Mnangagwa addressing the same Lupane rally said: “The campaign against dissidents can only succeed if the infrastructure which nurtures them is destroyed.”
It goes on to say the VP described dissidents as “cockroaches” and the Fifth Brigade as “DDT”, a deadly pesticide used to exterminate vermin. The NewsDay article further quoted Mr Coltart saying the VP had said: “Blessed are they who will follow the path of the government laws, for their days on earth will be increased. But woe unto those who will choose the path of collaboration with dissidents for we will certainly shorten their stay on earth.”