Moyo plots Tsholotsho Two: Retired Brigadier General

Moyo plots Tsholotsho Two: Retired Brigadier General

via Moyo plots Tsholotsho Two: Rt General 23/03/2014 NewZimbabwe

INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo’s decision to unbundle the ZBC at the turn of the century was meant to “weaken (the institution) and then buy” the separate units for a song as part of a grand plan to oust President Robert Mugabe, a former board member has sensationally claimed.

Retired Brigadier General Benjamin Mabenge, a former member of the ZBC board of directors told in an exclusive interview that Moyo’s plan was tied to the infamous 2005 Tsholotsho plot which sought to weaken Mugabe’s hold on power.

Mabenge was part of the ZBC board headed by Cuthbert Dube which was dismissed by Moyo last year after failing to come up with a turnaround strategy for the insolvent broadcaster.

It was later revealed that the board had done nothing to stop ZBC managers paying themselves massive salaries while ordinary workers went without pay for seven months and the broadcaster struggled with debts of more than $40 million.

Mabenge however hit out at Moyo, claiming that: “The unbundling of ZBC at the turn of the century was meant to cannibalise and reduce mutual resistance by departments at the ZBC.

“Moyo (wanted) to weaken institutions at ZBC as well as reduce resistance with a view to (later) buying (the unbundled units) for a song – at almost zero value – and then using them to prop-up their pet project to remove the President (Mugabe).

“It was part of an intra-party rebellion now infamously referred to as the Tsholotsho Declaration in which Moyo wanted to push for the ouster of the (Zanu PF) leadership and now they are reviving it.”

The ZBC was cut up into several stand-alone units, each with a well-paid CEO and management teams in a development that, ultimately, proved a commercial disaster. Some radio stations were moved from the corporation’s Pockets Hill base in Harare to towns such as Bulawayo and Gweru in a programme that was later reversed.

Mabenge said the grand plan was to create institutions that would support the takeover of power fronted by then Rural Amenities and now Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa is said to head a Zanu PF faction battling a rival group led by Vice President Joice Mujuru in Zanu PF’s increasingly bitter succession struggle.

Moyo was removed from government and, subsequently Zanu PF, in a huge fall-out from the so-called Tsholotsho debacle with six provincial chairpersons also suspended from the party.

Mabenge said the mess at the ZBC can be traced back to structures Moyo created during his first stint as Information Minister between 2000 and 2005.

“He (Moyo) created small companies with nine chief executives complete with benefits,” said Mabenge.
“These are companies that did not make either economic or financial sense because some of them could not sustain themselves.

“Now we wake-up to be told that Moyo is cleaning up the mess at the ZBC. How does that happen when he is the father of the mess?”

Although equipment at Pockets Hill is no longer fit for purpose with managers recently telling legislators that it was a miracle they managed to put out live news broadcasts, the corporation agreed a US$8 million equipment upgrade and digitalisation programme between 2000 and 2005 which saw its studios re-kitted by Iran.

ZBC never repaid the US$8 million loan guaranteed by the government with a tobacco growing project managers tried to start at Pockets Hill in Harare’s Highlands area failing to take off.

Mabenge, said the Iran-Zimbabwe-ZBC digitalisation deal never benefited the country adding it was the subject of investigations by government’s corruption busters.

“Moyo was also the principal of the Iran deal that brought in obsolete equipment and was, at some time, under investigation by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.

“The equipment never worked and now he wants ZBC to pay. We refused during our tenure to honour an agreement that we clearly saw was going to prejudice the government.”

Moyo has been at the forefront of a fight against graft and first targeted the ZBC board which was fired while CEO Happison Muchechetere was suspended.

Suspended along with Muchechetere were top lieutenants including former finance director Elliot Kasu. Both Muchechetere and Kasu are now challenging the decisions and have demanded their full salaries from the financially crippled parastatal.



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 4 years

    They are all nuts

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 4 years


  • comment-avatar
    dennis chikuve 4 years

    Its all hogwash comrade Mabenge. You stood by and did nothing to question the corruption under your Board. It is best that you keep your mouth shut and retire. But before you start to throw spanners into the works by carrying this attitude of holier than thou art and get comfortable, we as citizens that feel betrayed by your incompetence and apathy, want you to answer for your behavior. Your rant is best described as sour grapes. No more gravy train for you comrade. Why speak now? If you had been allowed to stay on enjoying the unearned benefits of a ZBC Board member, would you have been man enough to uncover all these accusations?

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 4 years


  • comment-avatar
    Zvichanaka 4 years

    Right or wrong…one thing is for sure…Jonathan Moyo is a professional political prostitute.

  • comment-avatar
    NBS 4 years

    Blessed is the man who trusts in God and cursed is the man who trusts in man! Zimbabwe wake up!

  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 4 years

    This ex-general is a big liar and loser who benefited from his looting which was stopped by J Moyo. He thought he had found easy source of wealth.
    The army personnel should remain in their barracks not in the commercial market because they are trained to defend the country not to loot resources.Get him JM using your intelligence not other dirty means like him.

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    Rwendo 4 years

    J-Moyo is more than a political prostitute. He is like one of those highly successful soap operas that many, otherwise intelligent people can’t seem to resist following, despite constant summersaults in plots and sub-plots that defy reason.

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    I am not a fan of Jonathan but what Mabenge is saying defies logic. Moyo is no fool. Why would he be wanting to get rid of someone who is on his way out anywhere due to old age? You were just caught with your pants down and now you want to try and make like you are innocent. Confess your sins and tell us what you done. You will feel a lot better when you confess.

    • comment-avatar
      NBS 4 years

      Hey small ax. You are on the right track. Zimbabwe needs lots of confession! We will most certainly be better then.

  • comment-avatar
    tophaevy 4 years

    Because he may choose a faction leader not of Moyo’s choice. Mabenge may be a looter but makes credible proclamations. Who doesn’t know about the Tsholotsho debacle? Is he lying about its existence too?

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    Mapingu 4 years

    This lunatic called Mabenge should shut up. We know that the board was fired for sleeping on duty and their failure to come up with a turn-around strategy. Any one with some brains in their heads knows that a company needs ‘turn-around’ when things are not going well, or better still when it is in a ‘mess’. So, isn’t it clear that the ZBC was in a mess, whether the mess was initially created by Moyo or the ‘economic sactions’ as Happison parroted in his reports, is inmaterial. The board was supposed to be seen to be turning ZBC around not destroy it further which is what Mabenge and his team did. May be Moyo has seen light, just like the biblical Soul on his way to Damuscas. In short, Mabenge should spare us the lunacy that since Moyo did bad things earlier on he is incapable of seeing things with a different eye & do right things sometimes. All know every normal person is capbale of that – hanzi muroyi munhu akabayiwa unochema wani. Even Mugabe & the rest of Zanu pf know this, otherwise how could they have accepted him back into Zanu pf and in cabinet. Mabenge should just lick his wounds 7 stop crying foul where it isn’t.

  • comment-avatar

    Zim will develop bcoz gud .hard wrkin n professional pple are always labelled as enemies of di state

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    The Truth. 4 years

    Benjamin Mabenge, the gukurahundi army Brigadier is talking nonsense.

    What we are seeing here is a bitter man who will do anything to cry foul over his dismissal and because of their usual gukurahundi tendency of hero worshipping, drag gukurahundi Mugabe’s name into every operational issue in order to get his own back at Jonathan Moyo for dismissing him!!

    What Jonathan Moyo did in decentalising ZBC in the past is exactly what the country needs of every state institution. This is what we mean by devolution. Why should everything be centred around Harare?

    You can not always talk about viability or financial sustainability over such issues.

    Returns on investments in terms of development economics are not always financial, they are also developmental and decentralising ZBC was one of those developmental initiatives with clear cut economic and social development impact/returns.

    This is exactly why such projects are undertaken by government, not the private sector – its because of their development impact, not financial returns. Roads and utuilities are such projects.

    The problem was not the decentralisation of the ZBC; the problem was the government fiscus that never subsidised ZBC to enable it to fulfill its national developmental objectives. Unless if ZBC is a typical commercial broadcaster like DSTV Multichoice – then that’s a different story!!