Moyo takes fight to Chiwenga

Ex-Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo has lashed out at Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, expressing his disbelief and disappointment that the government has set up an ad-hoc committee led by the retired general to deal with the thorny issue of skyrocketing prices.

Constantino Chiwenga and Jonathan Moyo in happier times
Constantino Chiwenga and Jonathan Moyo in happier times

In a series of fiery tweets aimed at Chiwenga, Moyo also accused the VP of preventing him from re-burying his father, killed in the 80s genocidal rampage of violence in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces in which up to 20 000 people were killed or forced into exile. 

The ex-minister — who told Zeinab Badawi in a BBC HARDtalk interview screened on Thursday that the November 15 army intervention spearheaded by Chiwenga had reduced Zimbabwe to a “banana republic” — also alleged in his blizzard of tweets that the fomer military commander was behind the torture of eight opposition Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) officials last week arrested for demonstrating against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s involvement in the Gukurahundi genocide.

“So Chiwenga’s soldiers in Mnangagwa’s now very nervy coup govt tortured the #Mthwakazi 8 anti-gukurahundist demonstrators in Byo & alleged that I sent the 8 to demonstrate. Does this torture inspire investors as defining a “New Era” in Zim under Mnangagwa?” Moyo said on the microblogging site.

Moyo, speaking on HARDtalk from a secret location, alleged that Mnangagwa seized power unconstitutionally and was leading an “illegal regime”.

“Mnangagwa and Chiwenga, they know only too well that they have come into power via the bullet and not the ballot,” he said.

Moyo, who recently questioned the ex-defence chief’s PhD from University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, challenging him to come clean on the real authors of “his” dissertation, berated the Zanu PF politburo for putting up an ad-hoc committee headed by Chiwenga to deal with price increases decisively.

“#TheNovemberCurse. Does the Zanu PF Couburo really believe that it can get a partisan ad-hoc committee to do what the Coubinet has failed to do to about crazy prices of basic commodities that started skyrocketing with the 15 Nov coup? #TheNovemberCurse!” Moyo tweeted.

In Zimbabwe, November is sacred; Moyo said referring to the month Robert Mugabe was overthrown in after a military intervention. He suggested the new administration was doomed as a result.

“Anything with spirituality done in the month is doomed. It’s the #NovemberCurse. You ignore it only at your peril. A marriage in November fails; or worse happens. (Ian) Smith’s November 11 UDI failed. So, the November 15 coup of Chiwenga & ED is doomed!”

Moyo said Chiwenga, who retired as defence forces commander last month, but was swiftly promoted to vice president and is also the minister of Defence, had vetoed his attempts to rebury his father, who was a victim of massacres carried out by followers of Mugabe in the 1980s. He said he attempted to have the issue addressed in government but was stonewalled by Chiwenga.

“Did I raise Gukurahundi issue in govt? One example: In 2016 our family sought & got from Tsholotsho RDC a permit to rebury my father Job Mlevu from a shallow gukurahundi grave. Chiwenga’s JOC blocked reburial, claiming it was a threat to national security!”

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba has rubbished Moyo’s claims as “rantings of a bitter man.” He said the military stepped in to stop the cabal that had tried to take advantage of the former president to launch itself into power it had never legally campaigned for.

“So really the issue of legitimacy or illegitimacy does not arise. You saw what happened at Zimbabwe Grounds; you saw what happened by way of an-across the political spectrum support.

“The action that had been mounted, mounted to avert a major crisis that was actually a creation by people like Jonathan Moyo. So really this is a bitter, bitter defeated politician who suffers from what the late Eddison Zvobgo would have called ‘power denial psychosis’,” Charamba said. Daily News