via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mugabe aide at war with Zanu-PF 28 October 2013
A SHADOWY columnist in the State media believed to be President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba has admitted a column he penned criticising Zanu-PF landed him in trouble.
The columnist, who writes as Nathaniel Manheru, the previous week tore into Zanu-PF for its “senseless rules, most of them crafted more to beguile and convict than to guide”.
At the weekend he admitted the opinion piece had not been well-received, with some Zanu-PF officials reportedly baying for his blood.
He said those who attacked him had developed a false sense of entitlement that he would never openly attack Zanu-PF as he was always in the habit of spitting his venom on MDC formations.
“There seems to be a view – wholly mistaken and despicable – that Manheru’s remit is to attack the opposition solely, attack the two MDCs and anything, anyone, opposed to Zanu-PF,” Manheru wrote.
“I admit there is a lot that this column has done to uphold such a misconception.
“I apologise for it. A mistaken view is that my chief and sole purpose begins and ends with harsh words against the opposition.
“A mistaken view is that my relationship with Zanu-PF – my party – is one of unconditional love and support, which, by the way, is not wrong.
“What is wrong, what would be wrong, is for anyone to ever think that my love and commitment to Zanu-PF translates to unconditional acceptance of all its ideas regardless, all its personalities regardless.
“A view that thinks Manheru is about excoriating the opposition only amounts to a diversion, some form of escapism.”
He said the reaction to his previous column included threats by angry Zanu-PF officials.
“What I abhorred about the debate around last week’s instalment was a thinly veiled bullying streak that underlay it,” Manheru wrote.
“Much of both came from commentators who are in the party, my partymates in other words.
“And the browbeating came in various forms, including the most arresting and debilitating one built around the loyalty card.
“Why are you raising these issues so likely to expose and embarrass the party?
“Why are you criticising the president, exposing the vice-president, in your piece?
“Who do you hope to please? Or some such drivel clearly indicative of a mind no inch longer than the hot tongue that carries and conveys its depraved thoughts.
“I don’t mean to be nasty, but please don’t seek to kill thoughts.
“Or their free expressions in the name of loyalty to Zanu-PF, in the name of protecting the party’s dignity, in the name of defending it against obloquy and revilement. I lose my balance once such logic kicks in.”
State media rarely criticise Zanu-PF and the MDC-T made several complaints against Manheru’s writings