PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has reportedly stopped Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo from taking Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other party members to court, saying their differences should be resolved within party structures.
Source: Stop it, Mugabe tells Prof Moyo – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 11, 2016
BY XOLISANI NCUBE/EVERSON MUSHAVA
Moyo last week issued a strongly-worded statement, threatening to sue Mnangagwa, Information minister Christopher Mushohwe and Information ministry permanent secretary George Charamba, among others, whom he accused of abusing State institutions to launch a smear campaign against him.
His threats came as he was battling to avoid arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over allegations of siphoning $400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) and converting it to his personal use, together with his deputy, Godfrey Gandawa, and Zimdef executives.
In Wednesday’s politburo meeting, after Moyo reportedly complained to Mugabe over what he called capture of State institutions allegedly by the Team Lacoste faction, the Zanu PF leader reportedly told Moyo to abandon his litigation, telling him to use party structures to get recourse.
But Moyo reportedly said he would go ahead to sue Mnangagwa and Mushohwe if the public media continued with its onslaught against him, which he said was destroying not only his political career, but his person as well.
Moyo was reportedly backed by political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
The Higher Education minister has already sued Zimpapers for $1 million, while Kasukuwere was demanding
$7 million in damages over stories published by the media group’s papers, which the two claim were false and malicious.
Moyo reportedly said he was of the view that only litigation would stop Team Lacoste from their alleged campaign against him.
He reportedly said he would go ahead until his political adversaries appreciated that he too was a Zanu PF member who deserved respect.
“They (Moyo and Kasukuwere) were adamant that Mnangagwa and his camp wanted to destroy their political careers, hence, they had to fight back,” an insider said.
Mugabe reportedly admonished Moyo for resorting to social media to raise his concerns instead of using party structures.
Moyo and Kasukuwere, who are said to be key members of the G40 faction, also alleged that Team Lacoste had a list of people who were to be targeted by the public media, as stakes in the succession race continued to rise.
Mnangagwa, the source said, was quiet for the better part of the discussion, but denied ever being part of a plot to politically harass Moyo and Kasukuwere. Moyo was unavailable to comment, while the party’s stand-in spokesperson, Ignatius Chombo, was also not answering calls.
A committee led by Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda is said to have presented a report on its findings on the alleged plunder of Zimdef.
While it was still not clear regarding what the report established, it was agreed that the findings be shared with Moyo’s lawyers, with some sources claiming it exonerated him.
Mugabe also reportedly blasted the commissariat, led by Kasukuwere, for failing to win the Norton by-election that saw the Zanu PF candidate, Ronald Chindedza, losing to independent candidate Temba Mliswa.
Sources said Mugabe gave Kasukuwere a hard time and accused him of having failed to do due diligence on both the candidate and the electoral process, resulting in the party’s humiliation.
Kasukuwere was on the defensive, claiming lack of unity in the party contributed to the loss.
“The political commissar (Kasukuwere) gave a report on what happened in Norton and blamed the provincial executive for not being united as well as failing to assist with the selection of a candidate,” a source said.
Zanu PF insiders said after his presentation, Mugabe said it was the duty of the commissariat department to choose the best candidate for the party, as well as allow other departments to conduct security checks on the candidate.
“It was heard from the presentation that Chindedza was not subjected to a security check within the party to verify his history within party structures. This angered the President, who was very upset with Kasukuwere,” another source said.
“He told him that he should not allow such mistakes next time.
“The PC denied reports that he called Shadreck Mashayamombe (Harare provincial PC) during the primary elections to rig in favour of Chindedza and said if Mashayamombe was the one who said so, he should speak on his own behalf.”
Insiders said the politburo was also told the party faced funding problems for the Norton by-election, with Mugabe passing the blame on the provincial leadership of Mashonaland West province, led by Chombo.