Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he never takes newspaper articles seriously.
He said this in the Senate on Thursday after he had been asked whether he lied when he said that a Nigerian journalist, Adeola Faeyhun, had apologised for the embarrassing incident in which she accosted President Robert Mugabe asking him when he intends to resign when he went to the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari .
Adeola, who announced on her online television show-Keeping it real– that the incident had marked the end of her career as she was pulling off the show, came back a week later and claimed that she show was continuing because of public demand.
She said she was shocked by a headline in the Sunday Mail that she has apologised to Mugabe because she had never done such a thing. Worse still, Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was a liar because he claimed she had written Mugabe a letter of apology.
“I never take newspapers seriously or discuss articles in the newspapers and think that they are authentic,” Mnangagwa said in response o a question from Senator Misheck Marava. “But if they are, then perhaps they are. What we know is that, the journalist that you are perhaps referring to made an apology. I have not heard an incident or an occasion where she has again withdrawn the apology that she made to her Government.”
According to Hansard, Mnangagwa never said that Adeola had apologised to Mugabe or the Zimbabwean government, but she had written a letter of apology to the Nigerian government which had in turn redirected that letter to the Zimbabwean government.
“The other question which was asked by the hon. member is, has the Nigerian government apologised to His Excellency for such a confrontation which occurred in Nigeria?” Mnangagwa said in response to a question by Gokwe-Nembudziya Member of Parliament Justice Wadyajena last week. “I have not heard anything about a request for apology, but what I know is that the lady journalist wrote a letter apologizing and the letter was addressed to the Nigerian Government. The Nigerian government then redirected the apology letter to the Government of Zimbabwe apologizing for embarrassing the State.”
Q & A:
SENATOR MARAVA: Thank you Madam President. My question is directed to the Vice President and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Mnangagwa. What is the policy or probably you may call it international policy and what steps are available when a Head of State is unfairly treated in a foreign land, a typical example is what happened in Nigeria?
THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, (MR. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Madam President. The Geneva Convention on Leadership provides that a Head of State, when he visits another State, the host State has the responsibility to provide security for that Head of State. It does not prescribe the punishment where the receiving State does not measure up to what is expected but it is believed that the States themselves would discuss the issue amicably as member states or as state parties. I do not know what you have in mind. If there was an example, I would examine and interrogate the example. I thank you.
SENATOR MARAVA: The reason why I asked the question Madam President is that, the papers are awash with information that the journalist is denying that she erred and that was my aim.
MR. MNANGAGWA: I suppose we belong to different worlds of understanding. I never take newspapers seriously or discuss articles in the newspapers and think that they are authentic. But if they are, then perhaps they are. What we know is that, the journalist that you are perhaps referring to made an apology. I have not heard an incident or an occasion where she has again withdrawn the apology that she made to her Government.