Latest Wikileaks cables said Mugabe’s bodyguards intervened and assaulted Mnangagwa – injuring him in the process.
The cable, released Friday, was wired by then US ambassador to Zimbabwe, James McGee on 2 October 2008.
It said Mnangagwa, who had somehow become a key player in the negotiations for an inclusive government, allegedly grabbed Mugabe by the lapels after a heated argument over the possibility of ceding the Ministry of Home Affairs to the MDC-T.
Mnangagwa was reportedly forcibly subdued by Mugabe’s body guards and was injured to the point that he had to be hospitalised.
The United States embassy admitted, however, that it was unable to confirm the physical altercation between Mugabe and Mnangagwa, but said there was a serious rift between the two over the allocation of ministries.
The embassy said Mnangagwa was against allowing any of the security apparatus to pass to the MDC- T.
The ministry is currently being shared between the two parties.
Defence Forces chief Constantine Chiwenga and Central Bank governor Gideon Gono were also reportedly opposed to the handing over of the Ministry of Home Affairs to the MDC.
“Sources have also told us that defense forces chief Constantine Chiwenga and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono are opposed to the MDC assuming responsibility for home affairs,” McGee said in the cable.
“They fear the ministry and police would investigate them for corrupt activities. As for finance, the finance minister, in consultation with the president, appoints the Reserve Bank governor. Zanu (PF), Gono, and top military officials, including Chiwenga, realise that loss of the finance ministry would likely be an end to the corrupt patronage system.”