By Andrew Kunambura and Fungi Kwaramba
Under-fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies apparently came out guns blazing against Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo at Wednesday’s tense politburo meeting in Harare — presenting “hard visual and video evidence” of the latter’s alleged anti-Zanu PF shenanigans.
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the fierce assault on Moyo by Mnangagwa and his sympathisers appeared to have taken powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe and other alleged G40 luminaries by surprise — exposing the fact that the deeply-divided ruling party’s ugly tribal and succession wars are far from over.
It was also confirmed yesterday that the document which was widely circulated on social media last week under the guise that it was Mnangagwa’s politburo presentation was “totally fake” and allegedly authored by the Midlands godfather’s party enemies in a desperate attempt to “derail him and confuse Zimbabweans”.
“Mnangagwa went to the meeting well-prepared for the showdown and had techno-savvy personnel at his side. In addition, he also brought three smart boards which he used to deadly effect during his presentation.
“Jonathan (Moyo) tried to stall proceedings early in the presentation, arguing that ED could not have it both ways — that is, filing a lawsuit against him over his own earlier presentation in July, and then being allowed to present evidence against him. But he was overruled by Gushungo (Mugabe).
“The president bluntly told Jonathan that when he made his presentation no one had given him conditions, and he was therefore not supposed to give Mnangagwa conditions,” one of our impeccable sources told the Daily News.
The theme of Mnangagwa’s presentation was titled “Who is more loyal?” — with the embattled VP apparently opening his presentation with an eight-minute video which chronicled his history with Mugabe before and after independence.
“The irony of that preface video was that (Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere was the one captured heaping praise on, and narrating ED’s history with Mugabe from 1962, up to the time he became vice president.
“Kasukuwere and other G40 kingpins were visibly shocked as they had not seen this coming,” another source said — adding that at the end of the clip Mnangagwa had remarked that he was baffled by the inconsistency of Moyo and Kasukuwere who, when it suited them praised him as a distinguished hero, but were now saying he was a bad man.
Soon after that, Mnangagwa apparently turned to Mugabe and said: “Now your Excellency, today I want to show you the real Jonathan Moyo,” before he savaged the Tsholotsho North legislator.
In response to Moyo’s claim that he was plotting to topple Mugabe, Mnangagwa also used other video clips and images which he claimed exposed Moyo’s close links with the American external spying agency, the CIA.
He is said to have even provided a cellphone number which he claimed Moyo used to regularly communicate with the CIA — while also reportedly naming Moyo’s alleged point man at the agency, and whom he had allegedly told that Mugabe, 93, was now too old and should retire.
Mnangagwa also produced several articles which Moyo penned during the period between 2005 and 2009, in which he attacked Mugabe and Zanu PF. He then proceeded to make reference to utterances which Moyo made at Sapes in July, in which Moyo suggested that he preferred Defence minister, Sydney Sekeramayi to succeed Mugabe.
“He (Mnangagwa) then told the meeting that all this was enough evidence that it was actually Moyo, and not him, who had a successionist agenda,” another politburo source said.
Mnangagwa also shot down Moyo’s claim that he had captured many State functions, saying he respected the founding values of the Constitution which placed emphasis on the separation of powers among the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature.
Mnangagwa had also apparently played a video of the commander of the Defence Forces, general Constantino Chiwenga, at a gathering in which he reiterated the military’s allegiance to Mugabe — going on to ask why Moyo is questioning the military’s allegiance to Mugabe.
When Moyo tried to interject, Mugabe is said to have told him that “it’s blow for blow. It’s you who started it, so let him continue”.
Mnangagwa was said to have also promised Moyo in the meeting that he would not take his attacks lying down.
“I am a trained military and political cadre. I have not thrown a stone at Moyo, but he has fired a shot at me. As a soldier, I have no choice but to hit back in defence of Zanu PF, its revolutionary ethos, its members and supporters,” Mnangagwa is quoted saying by the Daily News’ sources.
Mnangagwa is said to have twisted the knife into Moyo by claiming that his July 19 presentation had been based on hearsay.
“Your Excellency, all that which has been presented (by Moyo) is hearsay and not fact … as facts are incontrovertible material supported by evidence.
“It is common cause that both the criminal and civil laws of our great country have established that hearsay evidence is not admissible to prove the truth of matters stated.
“Without facts and the evidence to corroborate these, all that was placed before the politburo (by Moyo) was sensational, but barren material, which is highly prejudicial and low on probative value,” Mnangagwa is said to have further stated.
Rather surprisingly, Moyo is said to have received little support from his alleged close allies, including Kasukuwere and Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
It was apparently only after Mnangagwa had concluded his presentation, and Mugabe had asked why he was being blamed for many of the party’s problems that Moyo sprung to his own defence saying he could not deny the things he wrote or said when he was out of Zanu PF — adding that he had, however, apologised and asked for forgiveness from the party for his misdemeanours.
He also apparently proceeded to claim that although Mnangagwa was denying that he was plotting against Mugabe, he had allegedly actively participated in the infamous Tsholotsho debacle of 2004 — further claiming that they used to meet at Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration July Moyo’s place for their schemes at the time.
Moyo also allegedly further claimed that Mnangagwa was behind the 2005 formation of an opposition party by legislator Daniel Shumba called United People’s Party.
But Mugabe is said to have ruled that Moyo’s statements were inadmissible since he had already given his presentation which did not include those fresh claims. At that point, Moyo is said to have also received what sources described as “feeble support” from Grace — who is alleged to have said: “I like Moyo because he admits where he is wrong, unlike others who always deny their mischief”.
Cleveria Chizema, the most senior politburo member in Harare, is said to have also taken a severe swipe at Moyo, apparently describing him as a notorious and “shameless sell-out”.
Former minister of Labour, Prisca Mupfumira also apparently weighed in, accusing Moyo of creating tension between her and Grace — which had allegedly resulted in her losing her Cabinet job on Monday.
Mupfumira is also said to have argued that Moyo was a divisive character who had created the wrong impression that she was a Team Lacoste kingpin. Another politburo source claimed that at the end of the meeting Moyo had allegedly approached Mupfumira and apologised to her — although she ignored his peace overtures.
Zanu PF is currently divided in the middle, with a camp opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe — the G40 faction — involved in a life-and-death tussle with Team Lacoste.
Mugabe has consistently refused to name a successor, arguing that it is Zanu PF that must decide this issue through a congress when the time comes.
Of late, the name of reclusive Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi has also been thrown into the hat, although the veteran politician who has served in Mugabe’s Cabinet since independence in 1980 has refused to be drawn into the succession debate.
The party’s infighting took an ominous turn in August when Mnangagwa fell sick during an interface rally in Gwanda, which his backers said was a poison attack by his G40 enemies.
Mnangagwa was later airlifted to South Africa where he had emergency surgery. Daily News