via Mnangagwa ditches Moyo | The Zimbabwean 10 July 2014 by Special Correspondent
Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly ditched long-time ally Jonathan Moyo from his faction – concerned about his presidential ambitions.
“Since being recalled into the party some years ago, Moyo has been positioning himself to take over from (President Robert) Mugabe. He is convinced that he has what it takes to take the number one position and was already thinking beyond Mnangagwa,” a well-informed source told The Zimbabwean.
Two major camps—one led by Mnangagwa and the other by vice President Joice Mujuru —have been jostling to take over from Mugabe for some years now, but publicly deny all connection with any factions or power struggle.
Recent reports have linked Moyo, the Information Minister, to an online movement calling itself 263preez Team, which is reportedly campaigning for him to be Zanu (PF) presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
Moyo has not publicly denied claims that he is behind the group.
“Mnangagwa has become suspicious of Moyo, especially since report emerged that Moyo had described him as a mere bodyguard and far from presidential material. On the other hand, Moyo thinks Mnangagwa is a coward for not coming out in the open about his plans to replace Mugabe,” said the source.
In 2004 Moyo was part of a team comprising Zanu (PF) provincial chairpersons and other party stalwarts who met at Dinyane School in Tsholotsho reportedly to plan on how to get rid of Mugabe and other members of the old guard.
Mnangagwa, as the leader of the faction, was supposed to address the group, which pretended to be attending a prize giving ceremony at Dinyane. But he chickened out when the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) got wind of the meeting and informed Mugabe.
Following this incident, Mujuru was catapulted to the vice president’s position while Mnangagwa was relegated to the shady ministry of Rural Amenities that has since been dissolved.
“Mnangagwa is not making it a secret that he is fed up with Jonathan (Moyo) whom he considers too shifty to rely on. The two have not been talking to each other for a long time,” said another source.
Recently, while responding to questions in Parliament, Mnangagwa threw his weight behind Mugabe for his public attack on party saboteurs that he described as “weevils”.
Mugabe launched a rant against Moyo, accusing him of trying to destroy the party from inside.
“The president does not make light statements. All the weevils will be removed,” said Mnangagwa in Parliament.
Neither Mnangagwa nor Moyo answered calls from The Zimbabwean.
Sources said Mnangagwa was also irked by Moyo’s decision not to inform him as both the then Defence Minister and a political ally of his decision to use Edmund Kudzayi, the Sunday Mail editor who is facing treason charges for allegedly running Baba Jukwa, a Facebook page that revealed sensitive Zanu (PF) secrets ahead of last year’s election.
“Mnangagwa was shocked to learn that Edmund was working with military intelligence without his knowledge as the responsible minister. He suspects that Moyo was endearing himself to the army as part of his strategy to take over the presidency from Mugabe,” said another source.
“After Mugabe attacked Moyo, many people in the Mnangagwa faction do not want to be seen associating with him as their rivals in Mama’s (Mujuru’s) camp are spying on them and they can easily be compromised,” he added.
The army, he said, had also become cautious in dealing with Moyo and was keeping its distance from him, a development he said could isolate the Information minister.
The army, through the commander of the Air Force, Perence Shiri, has denied reports that it was mediating for Moyo after Mugabe attacked him.