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Jonathan Moyo embarrassed

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EDUCATION, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart has taken to social networks to dismiss Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo’s often repeated claim that he was a member of the Selous Scouts.

REPORT BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA STAFF REPORTER

Moyo has repeatedly claimed that the Kumalo Senator – who defended many PF Zapu leaders who were harassed by President Robert Mugabe’s administration soon after independence – served the notorious commando unit of the Rhodesian army.

The latest claims were made in an opinion piece last week where the Tsholotsho North MP appeared to take offence at Coltart’s insistence that Mugabe must reveal the source of the $20 million he used to buy agriculture inputs he is dishing out to farmers.

Moyo accused the minister of attempting “an impossible task of trashing (Mugabe’s) scheme”.

But Coltart responded through Facebook and Twitter last Friday labelling the former avid Zanu PF critic a “desperate” and “an unprincipled political chameleon”.

The minister said he had a two-year stint with the British South Africa Police (BSAP) after being conscripted by the then colonial government “as part of compulsory national service”.

He said Moyo’s claims that he was a member of the Selous Scouts must not be taken seriously.

“It is always such a relief to be in Jonathan Moyo’s bad books,” he wrote on Facebook at the weekend.

“It is comforting to know one must be doing something right.

“Dear old Jonathan must be desperate – he, of all people, knows that I was never a Selous Scout, but he has to roll that falsehood out again.”

Coltart said many Zimbabweans no longer took Moyo seriously because of his unprincipled political career.

“I hope Jonathan will also say I played prop for Rhodesia Rugby – he may as well because it is just as unlikely as me being a Selous Scout!

“Jonathan Moyo is viewed by all rational Zimbabweans as an unprincipled political chameleon who cannot be trusted,” he said.
“This allegation (about Selous Scouts) has been made time and time again against me for over 12 years without any damage to either my reputation (such as it is) or political prospects.”

Coltart, a lawyer by profession, said he was hesitant to sue Moyo because he had “an inherent dislike for defamation suits because they can perpetuate, feed and enlarge a defamatory statement”.

“It may seem curiously naive, but at the core of my belief system is that the good Lord knows the truth and that is all I have to fear,” the minister added.

“ Jesus was slandered and never had the opportunity to resort to the courts to redeem his reputation, something he didn’t actually care about.”

An undeterred Moyo on Saturday renewed his attack on the MDC secretary for legal affairs.

“I maintain that Coltart is a former member of the Rhodesian Selous Scouts,” he told an online publication.

“This is not an insult, but a description of a historical fact whose devil is in the detail and is based on public record.

“Any Rhodie who served any organ of Rhodesian forces was a Selous Scout in letter or spirit or both and so the difference was in detail and not in orientation or purpose.”

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