The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association has threatened to physically block Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo from attending the Zanu PF politburo indaba most likely this week, demanding that he publicly apologises for labelling presidential spokesperson George Charamba an “idiot”.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
War Veterans secretary-general Victor Matemadanda told NewsDay yesterday that they were convinced the insults were indirectly targeted at President Robert Mugabe.
“If he [Moyo] doesn’t obey the President or listen to someone who speaks on behalf of the President, then he has no business entering a Zanu PF politburo meeting,” Matemadanda argued.
“What we are doing here is to protect the institution of Zanu PF. We are not going to allow people who disobey the President to attend Zanu PF meetings he is chairing. The tactic will depend on how he [Moyo] comes. If he comes with a helicopter then there will be a tactic for that. It will be different from when he comes with a bus or Mercedes Benz or by foot.”
Asked to clarify if they were only targeting Moyo, Matemadanda said several other top Zanu PF officials were being monitored, but had been spared as they had “not yet crossed the red line”.
“For now, we are talking of a person who has crossed the red line. There are some who have their issues, but they haven’t crossed the red line as yet,” Matemadanda said.
Over the past few days, Moyo and Charamba have been involved in a nasty verbal exchange which has further exposed Zanu PF factional fights.
The verbal showdown reached a climax last Wednesday when Charamba, during an interview with a radio station, fired a salvo at Moyo describing the Tsholotsho North MP as a “successionist”.
This prompted Moyo to hit back in equal measure using his micro-blogging platform, Twitter, challenging Charamba, who is both Presidential Press Secretary and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services secretary, to remain apolitical or quit his job and join active politics.
Moyo accused Charamba of defending Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his vicious succession campaign against an ambitious grouping known as the Generation 40 (G40) that is reportedly sympathetic to First Lady Grace Mugabe.
But, Matemadanda said by attacking Charamba, the Higher Education minister was, in fact, showing disrespect for the President.
“What we are saying as war vets is that since we joined the revolution we have never seen anyone disobeying the order of the Commander-in-Chief. President Mugabe has repeatedly said people shouldn’t attack each other on social media, but we have those in politburo and Cabinet doing it.
“We are saying this should stop. Cde Charamba stressed in a recent radio interview that he was speaking as Presidential spokesperson and in that he will be speaking the President’s mind. When saying that person is an idiot, then who are you referring to as the idiot?” Matemadanda asked.
Matemadanda also threatened “to deal” with anyone found circulating petitions against senior party leaders.
This came amid reports that the Zanu PF commissariat led by Kasukuwere was reportedly receiving petitions against some leaders allegedly aligned to Mnangagwa.
In the run-up to the party’s 15th annual conference in Victoria Falls last year, little known Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform (ZYAP) also threatened to bar Moyo, Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere from stepping their feet at the Heroes Acre for allegedly insulting veterans of the country’s 1970s war of liberation.
Repeated efforts to contact Moyo the whole day yesterday were fruitless.