BY MOSES MATENGA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa allegedly blew his top and lashed at Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Priscillah Chigumba after she allegedly went to his office with a proposal for electoral reforms, a former Cabinet minister has claimed.
Exiled former Zanu PF strategist, Jonathan Moyo, revealed this in his book, Excelgate, which he claims exposes how the 2018 presidential elections were reportedly rigged in favour of Mnangagwa.
Government has, however, rubbished Moyo’s claims in the book.
ln his book, to be launched on December 13 in Harare, and has already been sold to more than 200 people in advance, Moyo said Chigumba irked Mnangagwa when she presented to him early this year some proposed reforms that included a clause that the Zec chairperson should be appointed through a parliamentary process.
“Chigumba then sought Mnangagwa’s approval of Zec’s proposed electoral reforms. She was granted audience. To Chigumba’s utter shock, Mnangagwa hit the roof and blew his top, asking her a series of politically blinding questions: What is your motive? Who has sent you with this? You are a sellout,” Moyo claimed in his book.
He wrote that Mnangagwa told Chigumba there would be no electoral reforms and that “she should just go away”.
He said Chigumba confided to her friends her experience at the hands of Mnangagwa and that she has been contemplating leaving Zec and the country out of fear.
But Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday said Mnangagwa was agreeable to electoral reforms.
“Is he (Moyo) now a prophet? Maybe he is now a prophet who knows what happens inside buildings and translates that into books?” Ziyambi asked.
“The Zec chairperson does not go directly to the President with electoral reforms because the President does not go to Parliament to motivate Bills, so I don’t even understand Jonathan Moyo.
“There is evidence to show that the President is agreeable to electoral reforms by setting up an inter-ministerial taskforce to look into that and agreeing to looking into recommendations from observer missions in order to look into opening democratic space.”
Ziyambi said it was absurd to assume that Mnangagwa would oppose something he was pushing for, adding that under the late former President Robert Mugabe, European observer missions were not allowed in unlike now under the new dispensation.
“Does he have telescopic eyes from where he is hiding to make such claims?” he asked.
Moyo also revealed the role of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) in the political dynamics in the country and its role in deciding who takes State power by whatever means.
“JOC, not Cabinet, not politburo, is the pivotal authority in Zimbabwe,” Moyo’s book reads.
“JOC is the centre of power in Zimbabwe. It is the system. JOC’s pivotal role is particularly pronounced during elections. This is because of the obvious reason that elections are strategically important for deciding who gets into power, when and how.
“Most Zimbabweans believe that elections in the country are rigged, but they don’t know how the rigging is done, yet they think there is one rigging formula that the ruling authorities apply to every election.
“This is what I understand from the endless questions I get as a former Cabinet minister ‘who should know’ apparently because of my role as a Zanu PF strategist and campaign manager, who wrote the party’s 2000 and 2013 election manifestos and who participated in the controversial 2002 presidential campaign as Minister of Information and Publicity.”
Moyo said most ministers and politburo members were in the dark on how elections were rigged as the information was a privilege for the JOC and a selected few.
JOC comprises of senior officials from the Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and Central Intelligence Organisation which is responsible for the coordination of State security.
Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo, Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Elson Moyo, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner-General, Retired Major General Paradzayi Zimondi and Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Isaac Moyo sit in JOC.
The book is being published by Sapes Trust, a publishing house that is credited for publishing the late former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s book The Story of My Life and the late national hero Edgar Tekere’s book A Lifetime of Struggle.