High profile official sources said Mnangagwa who chairs the cabinet committee on food security and nutrition and is thus spearheading command agriculture, clashed with Mphoko as simmering tensions over the project finally erupted in front of Mugabe.
Zanu-PF factional and succession power struggles are now spilling into government business with ministers crossing swords in cabinet last week as the internal strife spiralled out of control.
Sometime last year, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, according sources has complained that some ministers were only reporting to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and not him, highlighting that this needed to be corrected.
After Mugabe appointed the two vice-presidents in 2014, he outlined their duties and the specific areas they should direct so as to accelerate the implementation of the country's ambitious economic blueprint, ZimAsset.
Ministries that fall under Mnangagwa include Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Health and Child Care; Lands and Rural Resettlement; Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; Mines and Mining Development; Tourism and Hospitality Industry; Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development; Sport, Arts and Culture and Small to Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development.
Mphoko, who is also responsible for national healing, is in charge of all the security ministries that include Home Affairs, Defence and Presidential Affairs.
He also oversees the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development; Foreign Affairs; Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment; Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development; Energy and Power Development; Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development; Information, Media and Broadcasting Services and Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
"After Mphoko complained, (minister of Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion Obert) Mpofu said sometimes the problem is that some ministers will be trying to avoid being roped into factional things, therefore they stay away from reporting. Mpoko demanded an explanation on what he was saying, but then Mpofu excused himself and asked Mugabe if he could go to the toilet. He later came back after the battle had subsided," the source said.
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