via Zanu PF denies ordering Moyo to zip it 25/11/2013 NewZimbabwe
ZANU PF has denied media reports claiming Saturday’s heated politburo meeting ordered information minister Jonathan Moyo to stop commenting on party issues.
Moyo was at the centre of a media storm last week when he accused party spokesman Rugare Gumbo of being insubordinate to President Robert Mugabe as the top officials issued conflicting statements on the disputed provincial elections.
The privately-owned Newsday claimed Monday that Moyo had been told to shut it as the party sought to paper over increasingly bitter divisions.
“He (Moyo) was ordered to stop taking political issues to the papers,” the publication quoted Gumbo as saying.
However, administration secretary, Didymus Mutasa who backed Gumbo in the exchanges with Moyo and Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba, called a press conference Monday to deny the claims.
“The reports are untrue; the Politburo did not gag Moyo,” said Mutasa.
“As a matter of fact, if we gag Moyo we are doing a dis-service to ourselves as a party and as a government because we want his ministry to be the mouthpiece to advance the ZimAsset programme and to do other things the President appointed him for.”
Mutasa accused the media of fanning factional fighting in the party which is said to pit vice president Joice Mujuru against justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Both are seen as the leading contenders to succeed the ageing Mugabe who turns 90 next February.
“It is now placing you as instruments which lead factional fighting. You are aiding a problem that the leadership is grappling with,” said a visibly exasperated Mutasa.
“You as the media – what do you have to do with that fight? Who sent you to participate in the wrangle? This wrangle which has happened over the last two weeks was very unfortunate and it was propelled by you (the media) who do not want to see peace in the country among your leadership.”
Saturday’s politburo meeting upheld election results in Manicaland, the Midlands and Mashonaland Central which were won by candidates aligned to the Mujuru faction.
The losers – who were said to be in the Mnangagwa camp – had disputed the results, alleging various irregularities including fraud.
The decision by the politburo to uphold the results was widely interpreted in the media as a victory for the Mujuru faction.
Nonsense! Said Moyo in a statement placed, not with the public media over which he wields immense control, but with a privately-owned daily.
“It is neither true nor correct that the confirmation of the Zanu PF provincial elections in Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central means that the Politburo endorsed a real or perceived faction against another real or perceived rival faction,” said the information minister.
“That assertion is nonsense. The Politburo is an organ of the party and not an organ of a faction. Any attempt to factionalise the Politburo is doomed to fail because it will be resisted by the Zanu PF membership which is solidly behind President Mugabe as the leader of the party, government and country.”
Moyo went on to say Gumbo’s pre-empting of the Mashonaland Central party provincial election result was “wrong”
“As a matter of fact, (the) Politburo resolved that the announcement of the Mashonaland Central provincial election result without prior notification of the national leadership and confirmation of that result by the Politburo was wrong as was the attempt to hold elections in the remaining seven provinces when the President was out of the country,” he wrote.
Confirmation of the elections in the Midlands and Manicaland, he added was “not in favour or against any real or perceived faction but in order to foster the closing of ranks in the party by letting bygones be bygones.
“When you let bygones be bygones, it does not mean that there were no irregularities or problems but that you are consciously deciding to move forward together in pursuit of a larger objective of unity and progress which the Politburo decided to do.”