By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has rebuked President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration over a “low-blow” statement made by the Foreign Affairs Ministry distancing the government from claims by Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri blaming the Chinese for Covid-19.
On Friday, Muchinguri-Kashiri claimed that the deadly coronavirus disease was mistakenly made by the Chinese during experiments. Muchinguri added that the “enemies” ‘planted coronavirus’ into Mnangagwa’s close circuit bodyguards to increase his exposure to the Covid 19 virus.
The grief stricken minister and Zanu PF chairperson was responding to questions posed to her by ZimEye Managing Editor Simba Chikanza who recorded her as she mourned the late Manicaland Provincial minister Ellen Gwaradzimba who succumbed to Covid 19 on Friday.
“As for me, I’m okay. I’m actually helping others and members of my family. The virus is ravaging China. They are the ones who experimented and caused this virus that is destroying us,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.
This prompted the Foreign Affairs Ministry, through its spokesperson, Constance Chemwayi, to issue a statement distancing the government from Muchinguri-Kashiri’s sentiments.
“Reference is made to a purported telephone conversation between the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and a journalist, Simba Chikanza that is circulating on the social media platforms.
“We wish to make it clear that the sentiments expressed do not reflect the position of the Government of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and China enjoy excellent relations,” she said.
Mliswa however, accused Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration of failing to understand that Muchinguri-Kashiri was in mourning. The independent legislator added that the ‘undiplomatic’ statement by the government exposed ‘infighting’ in the ruling party.
“Going public with a statement premised against someone grieving was both unnecessary and irrational. It further exposes the infighting in the party,” he said.
“Here is someone who is in pain and mourning and in that moment emotionally the person is a mess. These are scenarios where former President Mugabe would use quiet diplomacy. Hon Muchinguri is a dedicated cadre for whom it’s unfortunate to be exposed to such unfair moves.
“The government should desist from the habit of churning statements over every other incident, there are other diplomatic channels to use.
“The Foreign Affairs statement on Hon Oppah Muchinguri is a low-blow that does not pay cognisance to the context in which she expressed herself, ” he added.
Ironically, Muchinguri-Kashiri has previously shared controversial sentiments on the Covid 19 pandemic wherein she said the disease was a “punishment” of the US and Europe for imposing sanctions against members of the ruling regime over human rights abuses.
“Coronavirus is the work of god punishing countries who imposed sanctions on us,” she said.
In the sensational call, Chikanza did not identify himself and pretended to be mourning the death of Gwaradzimba with Muchinguri. Nehanda Radio