INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has reportedly sought the intervention of army generals to save his skin following his public ridicule by President Robert Mugabe on allegations of fanning divisions in the ruling party.
Mugabe also accused Moyo of recruiting journalists with a soft spot for the opposition MDC-T into the Zimbabwe Newspapers stable.
According to the ruling Zanu PF party insiders, Moyo reportedly appealed to the security chiefs to intervene on his behalf after he was dressed down by Mugabe at the funeral gathering and burial of national hero and former Information minister Nathan Shamuyarira last week.
Moyo was yesterday not reachable for comment while Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo professed ignorance over the matter.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Gumbo said.
But the officials said Moyo was sticking out until the differences were ironed out than to resign.
The officials said Moyo was almost off the hook after excitable party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa hinted on Sunday that Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Moyo should be expelled from the party as they were divisive elements.
Mutasa reportedly belongs to a faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru. Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have repeatedly denied belonging to factions.
“You said there are two factions, one led by Amai (Joice) Mujuru and the other one by Emmerson Mnangagwa,” Mutasa said. “Let me say what I have always said that Mujuru has no faction.
“Mujuru faction, if it is there, is all of us because she is our leader. If she wanted factions she should leave her post first and do factions. She is not doing that. There is only one faction led by Mnangagwa because a faction is described as a group of a few people who will be working outside the majority.”
In his address, Mugabe said unlike Moyo, Shamuyarira was a model Information minister who always made efforts to ensure that the party’s views were given prominence.
“The views that he published were the views of the party. I am saying this in light of what is happening now where our Minister of Information wants to pit leaders of the party against each other,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe described the journalists that have crossed over from the private to the State media as “counter-revolutionary people” who used to condemn Zanu PF, but were now “at the forefront” of the public media.
It is understood that Mugabe’s tongue-lashing of Moyo started at the party’s politburo meeting last week after some Zanu PF heavyweights expressed displeasure with the role of the State media which they said was now in the hands of “former MDC-T journalists” who were “peddling the regime change agenda”.
The party gurus allegedly accused Moyo of using his foothold in the State media to dig into his Zanu PF rivals.
Mugabe further said he was very angry with his ministers whom he said were dishonest and deceptive.
“This opportunism is crooked and deceptive, this is an angry time, a time of real anger, a time where I am terribly, terribly disappointed by some of our leaders, I can count them, they are proud of what we suffered for,” Mugabe said.
On the flipside, journalists and analysts have come to Moyo’s defence saying his reformed stance towards the private media and his anti-corruption crusade should be applauded as they set the tone for economic recovery.
Media academic Pedzisai Ruhanya described Mugabe’s public attack on Moyo as distasteful.
He said the veteran leader should be grateful for the hard work Moyo had put in for Zanu PF to win the July 31 2013 elections.
“The attacks are disgusting coming from a man whose party and personal political career have been saved by Moyo,” Ruhanya said.
“I have seen a lot of celebratory comments by some equally misguided social commentators when we should actually condemn Mugabe for hate speech against Moyo. Whatever Mugabe does is immaterial.” NewsDay