Information minister Jonathan Moyo has launched a vicious attack on unnamed backers of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing them of creating a competing centre of power as the battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensifies.
By Everson Mushava
Moyo’s outburst was in response to Zanu PF apologist Goodson Nguni who on Wednesday accused the minister of authoring a story in The Herald linking him to the leaking of sensitive issues discussed in the politburo.
Nguni was accused by the State-controlled paper of leaking a story alleging that Mugabe told the last politburo meeting he owed fired Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde $30 million.
The director of the Zanu PF-aligned Federation of Non-governmental Organisations claimed Moyo was out to destroy Mugabe and his deputies through an elaborate media campaign.
Nguni said Moyo was using The Herald to fight Mnangagwa and had allegedly hired gay editors at Zimpapers.
Moyo took to microblogging site Twitter to respond to Nguni’s tirade and Mnangagwa’s name featured prominently
“Self-styled pro-VP Mnangagwa successionists like Nguni are actually unprincipled opportunists bent on creating a competing centre of power! It is shocking self-styled pro-VP Mnangagwa successionists are reproducing Gamatox epithets against erstwhile Cdes!” the minister charged.
He appeared to take exception to Nguni’s insinuation that he brought gay journalists to Zimpapers.
“Gay thing has become a refuge for scoundrels. Sucessionists paint opponents as gay or plotters against President,” he said.
“The idiots making gay allegations against their presumed political rivals seem to know something about the gay scourge which they’re hiding.
“Interesting those who say they support VP and those who support former VP (Joice) Mujuru hold similar views & use similar arguments against critics.”
The minister said the allegations he was plotting against Mugabe could be an indication his opponents were trying to set him up against Mugabe.
“In Germany, if you want to kill a dog, allege it has rabies. In Zimbabwe, allege it is plotting against the President,” Moyo tweeted.
Asked if there were pro-VP Mnangagwa “successionists” in Zanu PF, Moyo said they were “self-styled”.
The Zanu PF strategist appeared to have crossed the paths of Mnangagwa supporters after he told the BBC HARDtalk programme that Mnangagwa was not appointed to succeed Mugabe, but to assist him.
Nguni’s accusations have triggered fierce debate among Zanu PF members who questioned Moyo’s conduct.
“Moyo is taking it too far,” a close Mnangagwa ally told NewsDay. “We will deal with him; he is on his way out.”
He said the Zanu PF presidium would soon discuss the worsening public fights rocking the ruling party.
“Moyo has proved that he is part of the problem, and not the solution to Zanu PF’s wars,” another Zanu PF official said.
Zanu PF succession wars have not ebbed even after the ruling party expelled Mujuru for allegedly plotting to kill Mugabe.