Mnangagwa wades into his comparison to Ian Smith
Social media users, who include football giant Dynamos former captain, Memory Mucherahowa, took to Twitter and Facebook to share images and videos that buttressed arguments Mnangagwa was failing, including those of prisoners, arrested human rights activists and fully developed projects.
Speaking at the burial of late national hero, Major General Sydney Bhebhe at the heroes' acre on Monday, Mnangagwa said Smith and his administration were at the centre of Zimbabwe's plunder.
"It is most disheartening to hear some of our misinformed and misplaced young people, peddling the grossly false narrative that life under Ian Smith was better than that after Independence," President Emmerson Mnangagwa @edmnangagwa #NationalHeroesAcre pic.twitter.com/ZLdtcAd6qw— Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting (@InfoMinZW) June 20, 2022
"It is most disheartening to hear some of our misinformed and misguided young people peddling grossly false narrative that life under Ian Smith was better than that under independence. Foolish young people," said Mnangagwa to a mostly Zanu-PF crowd in attendance.
"The onus is on the older generation to constantly explain to the youth of our country that Ian Smith and those present-day counter revolutionaries, with similar inclinations, personified plunder, and pillage of our motherland.
"The racist excesses of the Rhodesian white settler regime were unbearable and fraught with the constant threat of death. It took strong willed cadres in the mould of our late hero, Major General Sydney Bhebhe, to endure the audacious journey that finally brought about our freedom.
"We have a sacred responsibility to jealousy guide our motherland, Zimbabwe."
Point of correction: Smith was not better than ED, otherwise ppe may think we are comparing 2 good men! Let me put it this way, ED is WORSE than Smith!— Sekuru Gudo vekuDotito (@sekuru_gudo) June 13, 2022
I remember seeing Ian going to Andrew Fleming Hospital for treatments each time he was sick, never flew outside for treatment pic.twitter.com/S0TPm3LP5t
Using a match in which Caps United thumped Dynamos 7-0 in 1988 as an example, Mucherahowa said arguing that Smith was better than Mnangagwa did not translate to supporting the late colonial master.
"I played in this match, Caps United thumped us 7-0. When I was asked after the match, I said Caps were by far better than us. But that doesn't mean I was supporting Caps United," said Mucherahowa.
I played in this match, Caps United thumped us 7-0, when i was asked after the match i said Caps were by far better than us. But that doesn't mean i was supporting Caps United. pic.twitter.com/NQQ4ukVSEJ— Memory Mucherahowa (@MemoryMucherah2) June 11, 2022
Added Mnangagwa: "These crooks of unrepentant supremacist seek to make Zimbabwe (a place) where Africans, ourselves, are disenfranchised and turned into puppets for their elitist economic benefit. This will never happen.
"Such colonial inspired economic domination under whatever guise will never be accepted in Zimbabwe under the revolutionary party Zanu-PF."
Surprise Mnangagwa defenders included Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) secretary general, Charlton Hwende, who refused, out-rightly, supporting the argument that Smith was better.