WAR Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa has all but admitted his fight with Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo was over monopolising First Lady Grace Mugabe.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
In a wide-ranging interview with NewsDay in Kariba last week, Mutsvangwa launched an unrestrained attack on Moyo and Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, accusing them of being funded by ex-Rhodesians now resident in Cape Town, South Africa, to destabilise Zanu PF.
He claimed Moyo was the leader of a Zanu PF faction called G40 that is tussling for power with another faction allegedly led by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the party’s succession wars.
“They (G40) are now even trying to take away First Lady Grace Mugabe from us, but they will not succeed because she will come back to us, as we are committed to the struggle, Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe,” Mutsvangwa said.
“G40 is real and was formed by Moyo. And how can we deny something that has been penned by Moyo himself when he says he is referring to an age group. But why do they discriminate war veterans? He knows he can manipulate young people where he can be their patriarch, but he cannot do that to experienced war veterans because they are people who can question him.”
Moyo was not answering calls and did not respond to text messages and an email sent to him on Thursday.
Kasukuwere initially promised to call back and respond to Mutsvangwa’s allegations, but had not done so at the time of going to print last night.
Last year, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko admonished a party official, Espinah Nhari, at Grace’s campaign rally in Gutu, for alleging that the G40 faction existed and that it was led by the First Lady.
But Mutsvangwa maintained that G40 was real and accused the outfit of being contemptuous of the role played by war veterans in pre- and post-independence Zimbabwe.
“There is a group, which is beginning to see war veterans as if it is a tribe from exile, and they have created a barrier between ordinary people and President Robert Mugabe, and those people, the G40, now claim they are a majority against war veterans,” Mutsvangwa said.
He accused Moyo, whom he described as a “Johnnie come lately”, of deserting the liberation struggle to go and study in the United States, where he was sponsored by his uncle, the late Ndabaningi Sithole.
Moyo, a liberation war deserter, Mutsvangwa said, tried to arm-twist Mugabe into posthumously declaring the late Zanu Ndonga leader a national hero and have his remains exhumed and reburied at the National Heroes’ Acre.
“We now have a professor, who thinks of his glories and prestige accorded to him in the party with an overblown ego and he has mental amnesia about his truancy in the struggle and infirmity about his uncle Ndabaningi Sithole.
“Moyo is on record, during the time of Andy Mhlanga’s reign as national executive leader of war veterans, as having gone to President Mugabe to seek posthumous rehabilitation of Sithole, including conferment of Sithole’s hero status, when both of them deserted the struggle, and now he wants his uncle to rest at the same place with former VPs Joshua Nkomo and Simon Muzenda, and Josiah Tongogara. It will cause ructions at the heroes’ acre,” the war veterans leader said.
Mhlanga last week declined commenting on the issue.
Mutsvangwa also claimed that the MDCs and former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s People First were also sponsored from Cape Town.
Moyo, Mutsvangwa said, should form his own political party instead of trying to destroy Zanu PF from within.
“He should have courage about his political agenda and the litmus test is for him is to become Simba Makoni, Dumiso Dabengwa or Edgar Tekere. His natural home is Zanu Ndonga where he has genetic bones,” Mutsvangwa said.