CHIEF WRITER 11 December 2017
HARARE – Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo – who
is in self-imposed exile – has hit back at Media, Information and
Broadcasting Services ministry permanent secretary George Charamba after
the presidential spokesperson lifted the lid on the real brains behind a
legacy institution for former president, Robert Mugabe.
Charamba told the Daily News in an exclusive interview last week that
contrary to widespread belief that the idea of building a university for
Mugabe was conceptualised by Moyo, it was actually President Emmerson
Mnangagwa, as the then vice president, who came up with the idea before it
was stolen by G40.
But writing on his Twitter account, Moyo said the idea for the legacy
institution was actually brought up by former minister of Finance Ignatius
Chombo with the plans being drawn by Mugabe’s nephew Albert Mugabe.
“The claim that the RGM University is a Mnangagwa idea is bootlicking
idiocy. It was first initiated by the Mugabe family itself led by Amai Dr
Mugabe and assisted by Dr Chombo. First designs were done by Albert
Mugabe,” said Moyo.
In the interview, Charamba said one of the reasons why relations between
Mnangagwa and Grace deteriorated so much that they were hardly on talking
terms, was because of the capture of the then first lady by the G40
Apart from stealing the legacy university concept, the G40 faction also
allegedly took over the writing of Mugabe’s biography from historian
Phyllis Johnson something that Moyo also denied.
“The fiction that the writing of … Mugabe’s biography was given to me is
news not only to me but also to many who are in the know, including one
Vice Chancellor and one Pro Vice Chancellor. What’s certain is that
Phyllis Johnson was not & is not qualified for the task,” Moyo said.
The presidential spokesperson revealed how Grace and her allies
gate-crashed into the writing of Mugabe’s biography.
He said following the death of former Information minister Nathan
Shamuyarira in June 2014, a decision was made to resuscitate the writing
of Mugabe’s biography under the management of historian, Johnson.
“Then one fateful day that project was rudely taken from her, and I use
the word rudely advisably. You should have seen the poor woman, she just
got a sharp plain instruction kuti dzosa (bring back), and who was going
to do that it was again Jonathan,” said Charamba.
He said these incidents gave him the impression that Mugabe’s legacy had
morphed from being the business of Zanu PF to that of a few individuals
around his wife, Grace.
He said Mugabe had become a captive of the G40 faction now scattered
across the world in the wake of his fall.
“So looking at these seemingly unrelated matters, I got a distinct
impression that the then president’s legacy had ceased to be a matter for
his party, Zanu PF but for preferred members working with the first family
– it was a family affair,” he said.
“If you consider that vakuru (Mugabe) had picked Shamuyarira (to write
the biography), you notice it was not just a choice based on his
attributes but it was a gesture of symbolically surrendering his life and
legacy to the party he had served and led, after all his life and legacy
was to a large measure the life and legacy of the party, which is why it
could only be written by the spokesperson of the party in the form of
Shamuyarira. This was a classical case where competence and loyalty
coincided,” said Charamba.
He said instead of talk about a life well lived, there were in fact
talking about how that life was being misappropriated for a future
political project – changing from retrospective to being prospective.