HARARE – The beleaguered Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been labelled by the MDC-T as “callous and intolerant man”.

\n

Party’s spokesperson Obert Gutu was responding to media reports that quoted Mnangagwa telling a weekend rally in Kwekwe that the MDC-T is a “satanic organisation” whose members needed deliverance.

\n

“It is very unfortunate that a person who is the country’s vice president would utter these kinds of irresponsible and inciting remarks about a political party that is a legitimate and lawful organization in Zimbabwe.

\n

“Ours is an organization with millions of supporters and followers and such kinds of crude and irresponsible remarks are a direct cause for political intolerance and violence in the country.

\n

What Mnangagwa said in Mbizo at the weekend is not the kind of statement one would expect from someone who is not only the country vice president but also Justice Minister,” said Gutu.

\n

Gutu warned Mnangagwa to “watch his tongue” given his status in society.

\n

“This kind of statement is a clear indication of the fact that Mnangagwa is an inherently violent man with a loose and irresponsible tongue.

\n

As the MDC we are fully aware of his direct link to the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s and as such he is a callous man with a tainted political reputation. If anything it is him who is satanic and needs repentance. The people of Zimbabwe need to pray for this lost soul,” the MDC-T spokesperson said.

\n

Gutu said Mnangagwa’s utterances were a continuation of the ethnic intolerance within the ruling party given President Mugabe’s recent “anti-Kalanga slur”.

\n

“We also see a link between these irresponsible remarks with the recent anti-ethnic remarks regarding the Kalanga people by Mugabe and that is the reason why we have argued for years that the faction ridden Zanu PF party is a threat to national security,” said Gutu.

\n

Mnangagwa, appointed vice president late last year, is seen as Mugabe’s heir apparent as the 91 year-old leader battles age and ill-health.

\n

The VP is reported to have told thousands of Zanu PF supporters at a rally in the Midlands city of Kwekwe that they needed to confess their sins after voting the MDC-T in 2013

\n

“I am happy that you have come here today to confess to God that you have sinned because of the unholy alliance of moving… with sinners in the MDC. If you are here supporting Zanu-PF, your sins have been cleansed,” the country’s number two reportedly said.

\n

Former education minister David Coltart said in a tweet: “This is not the first time that [VP Emmerson] Mnangagwa has parodied the scriptures.”

\n

The human rights lawyer said that Mnangagwa had also parodied the Bible around the time of the Gukurahundi killings in Matabeleland in the 1980s, when up to 20 000 Zimbabweans were killed. Mnangagwa was state security minister at the time.

\n

A South African news agency quoted Jeffrey Smith of the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights in Washington saying that “For many years Zanu-PF leaders have relied on this kind of hateful rhetoric. It’s a tried-and-true strategy.

\n

“It’s meant to get inside the psyche of the people and it’s clearly in violation of a number of SADC’s own principles meant to ensure free and fair elections.”

\n

In 2011, Genocide Watch named Mnangagwa as a genocidist for his role in the Gukurahundi massacres which killed about 20 000 Ndebele speaking people in the 1980s.