via Moyo snipes at Mnangagwa again – NewZimbabwe 06/09/2015
IF those who advised President Robert Mugabe to reassign Jonathan Moyo from the influential information ministry thought that would silence the “divisive” minister and Zanu PF politburo member, they were miserably mistaken.
Moyo has since found free rein to speak his mind – and often against fellow party leaders, or more precisely, its vice president – on social media, even ignoring a Twitter interdict from Mugabe.
“The innuendo that the late VP Nkomo was a sell-out like [Chief] Chirau is offensive and unacceptable,” Moyo said on Twitter Friday, in a retort directed at vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He was referring to claims by Mnangagwa in a recent interview that Rhodesian leader Ian Smith once told Mugabe that the late vice president Joshua Nkomo lost the 1980 elections because he represented whites.
Mnangagwa made it clear that he was merely repeating what was, allegedly, said by Smith but political rivals have accused him of trying to trash Nkomo’s liberation legacy.
Earlier, Moyo had also tried to stir trouble for Mnangagwa over a tact-less comment the latter made in the same interview regarding the fact Mugabe is now 91 years-old.
“We shall miss him greatly,” Mnangagwa told the UK-based New African magazine.
Moyo picked up on the slip, retorting: “VP Mnangagwa on President Mugabe: ‘We shall miss him dearly’. Rather premature to say!”
He added: “The inevitable is the truth of everyone & so there is no telling who is going to die before who!
“Of course death is certain but how does anyone know who is going to die first & therefore who is going to miss who?”
It remains unclear what bone Moyo has to chew with Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF insiders suggest that Moyo may not have been impressed with being consigned to a less influential position in the politburo after helping oust former vice president Joice Mujuru.
Mujuru’s ouster was thought to boost Mnangagwa’s chances of taking over from Mugabe.
Others however, claim that Moyo appears to have revived his anger over the Gukurahundi atrocities which also claimed his father.
Mnangagwa was in charge of state security during the 1980s conflict which rights groups say claimed more than 20,000 civilians in the Matebeleland and Midlands provinces.
Last year Mugabe viciously attacked Moyo in public, accusing the minister of using his control of the state media to divide the ruling party.
Surprisingly however, the veteran leader did not fire Moyo or remove him from the information ministry.
Moyo was then reassigned to higher education in July this year, in a development thought to have been urged by the Mnangagwa camp in the divided ruling party.
Prior to the reshuffle, Moyo had given several interviews in the state media as well as with the BBC in which he made clear that being vice president did not make Mnangagwa Mugabe’s choice for successor.
Before his reshuffle, Moyo had made a song and dance about his decision to join social media.
An inspired move said UK-based political commentator, Alex Magaisa.
“Having lost the information ministry, Moyo nevertheless retained space in the media via social media,” wrote Magaisa in a recent article.
“With hindsight, it seems his entrance into social media earlier this year was in contemplation of a departure from the information ministry.
“It was important to retain his presence in the media, preferably a space that he could control, even without control of the state media.”
Mugabe tried to shut Moyo up by ordering top government and Zanu PF officials off social media, but the higher education minister has ignored the interdict.
Party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo told local media the minister would be disciplined for supposedly defying Mugabe.
Moyo laughed at the threat saying those trying to discipline him were “dreamers and wishful people”.
He insisted that he was using social media to defend Mugabe.
“It’s one thing to use social media to defend the President, party and country, and another to use it to attack anyone,” he said.