|NEW vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa is a hard worker who will turn the fortunes of the country around if given the chance, former Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa has claimed.
Msipa also claimed that had it not been for Mnangagwa the environment including conservancies in the Midlands province would have been destroyed during the violent land reform exercise, the NewZimbabwe has reported.
He said: “During land reform we thought of preserving our animal conservancies in the province and today we boast of places like Antelope Park which is among the country’s biggest tourist attractions. We knew back then that our people were not capable to manage these conservancies, all what they thought of was to take land and by now all the animals you see there would have been killed. All these things we shared with the new VP.”
Most of the country’s conservancies, including the internationally acclaimed Save Conservancy, were decimated during the land reform program supposedly meant to redress colonial land imbalances.
Msipa, believed to have been rooting for deposed former vice president Joice Mujuru in the run-up to the Zanu PF congress late last year, said that given his experiences with the man he was confident that Mnangagwa would make the right decisions for the country.
“Mnangagwa is much better to deliver the country’s economy especially considering its state at present. He can advise the President well on how to do things.
“I have always watched him closely since long back and I have things to appreciate from him; during my time as the Governor of this province Midlands, we worked closely together, him advising me well,” said Msipa.
Msipa, a former Zapu stalwart, also fought for the elevation of former party chairman and now spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo who lost the battle to career diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko.
Mnangagwa who for years has been seen as President Robert Mugabe’s heir apparent finally shot to the top following a vicious factional fight with Mujuru, but prevailed with massive support from the first family.
Msipa who is now only a Central Committee member after losing his place in the politburo fought tenaciously for Mujuru’s retention, expressing his displeasure at her demonization.
But this week Msipa sang praises for Mjuru’s replacement.
He said Mnangagwa had also assisted him to preserve dairy farms in the Midlands province at the height of the chaotic land redistribution exercise.
“We worked together well and he advised me well from the time during the time of land reform; today the province is the best and the President is happy that the province is doing well on dairy farming.
“He (Mnangagwa) has a passion for the country’s economy to develop and to turn around its fortunes after decades of decline and stagnation,” said Msipa.
Zimbabwe’s political, economic and social problems that worsened at the turn of the century have continued and commentators point to corruption and Mugabe’s continued stranglehold on power as some of the major causes.
Following his elevation to the position of VP and subsequent assumption of acting presidency a week later, Mnangagwa immediately indicated his wish to see policy changes particularly to the country’s contentious indigenisation law.