President Emmerson Mnangagwa has distanced himself from playing a role in awarding his wife Auxilia a gold medal for her charity work and claims that the committee who decided this is chaired by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
This comes after the Zanu PF administration awarded the First Lady a gold medal for her “outstanding performance” in her philanthropic activities among 99 other outstanding institutions, civilians and fighters of the liberation war.
Mnangagwa awarded her the medal on hand during National Heroes Day commemorations on Monday.
This prompted protests from observers who accused Mnangagwa of playing “bedroom politics, awarding his wife a national medal”.
But Presidential spokesperson George Charamba released a statement dismissing Mnangagwa’s involvement in the awards processes arguing that the committee was led by Chiwenga.
“For the avoidance of doubt, National Honours and Awards are handled in terms of the law of the land, namely the Honours and Awards Act (Chapter 10:11) , promulgated by the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
“Decisions on who deserves to be honoured in terms of the aforesaid law is taken by cabinet on the recommendations of its committee on Honours and Awards which is chaired by our vice president Dr C.G.D. N Chiwenga.
“The committee in turn is underpinned by Honours and Awards technical committee which is chaired by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr. M. J.M. Sibanda,” Charamba said.
He added that in deciding on the scope of honours and awards for any given year, the government looked at actors in key sectors and areas of society who would have impacted positively on the nation.
“This year’s line up of people and institutions deserving national recognition was however unique in that it was inaugural under the second republic, and thus covers vast canvas of actors who spanned across epochs, in order to make a clear statement on those values and sacrifices we extol and hold dear for our nation as we remould our present and shape the future with a view to inventing brave, caring, compassionate and creative society,” he said.
Fallen national heroes Sibusiso Moyo, Perrance Shiri and Joel Biggie Matiza, also made it on to the list, awarded with National Historical Legacy Awards posthumously.