By Jonisayi Maromo
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo has described Zimbabwe’s ruling party’s outspoken director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi as “mischievous” after Mugwadi threatened to leak a bombshell about the ANC’s recent trip to Zimbabwe.
Mugwadi has been embroiled in a prolonged war of words with SABC foreign editor Sophie Mokoena over what he claims to be biased reporting by the South African public broadcaster.
Khaya Moyo said Mugwadi’s insinuations that there was a hidden agenda by the ANC senior leadership when they went to Harare last year did not reflect the views of Zanu-PF.
“The statement by the Zanu-PF director of information, comrade Tafadzwa Mugwadi, on the visit last year by the ANC delegation to meet with Zanu-PF on matters of mutual interest does not in any way reflect the position of Zanu-PF.
“The statement was issued without authorisation and must be dismissed with contempt. The ANC of South Africa and Zanu-PF enjoy excellent and fraternal relations dating back to the days of our liberation struggles and continue blossoming up to this day,” Khaya Moyo told to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
“To suggest that the ANC delegation came to Zimbabwe with a hidden agenda is compound mischief, uninformed, unacceptable and unpatriotic. A communiqué was issued on the constructive two-day meeting that the two fraternal parties and indeed these meetings will continue in the future.”
Khaya Moyo said “nothing was amiss” about the Zanu-PF trip to Zimbabwe, which also sparked a furore in South Africa.
“Necessary disciplinary measures will be taken by Zanu-PF concerning those involved,” said Khaya Moyo.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited Mugwadi to reveal his threatened “bombshell” regarding the ANC trip.
Mugwadi recently wrote on Twitter: “If the ANC and SABC News do not restrain and reign (rein in) Sophie Mokoena whose fake news reporting and tweeting is directed at undermining a neighbouring country and President E.D. Mnangagwa for no apparent reason, I will seek permission to leak a bombshell on why the ANC delegation came.”
Speaking to the SABC as the ANC marked its 109th anniversary this past week, Ramaphosa said Mugwadi could reveal his “bombshell”.
“In relation to Zimbabwe, I don’t know what the representative of Zanu-PF was talking about. I’m sure he will be willing to share all that with the ANC and with all of us. We sent a delegation, as the African National Congress, to Zimbabwe because Zanu-PF is a sister party to us.
“We have deep and strong links with Zanu-PF and it (the trip) was to express concern and also to find out what’s happening, and to see the extent to which we can either be supportive and to fully understand what is happening. So, as far as we are concerned, there is nothing amiss and there is nothing we could say we have to hide.
“At government level, I appointed three envoys who went to Zimbabwe and we continue to interact with Zimbabwe, and I am also in contact with President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa on an ongoing basis,” Ramaphosa said.
Mugwadi made the threat in reaction to what he has called “hostile reportage” against Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF by the SABC and allegedly spearheaded by Mokoena, who often tags Mnangagwa in her Twitter posts.
Some of her tweets have, however, been flagged as “fake news”, particularly by Zanu-PF, as the pictures “depict incidents that did not happen in Zimbabwe”.
Recently, Mokoena asked Mnangagwa to explain the situation at the Beitbridge border post as thousands of Zimbabweans queued to enter South Africa.
On Sunday, Mokoena tackled Mugwadi, accusing him of floor-crossing and singing for his supper, joining Zanu-PF after he was previously an active member of the opposition-aligned Zimbabwe National Students Union.
Mokoena shared a picture with her legion of followers, allegedly depicting Mugwadi attending an event of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
In some of his tweets, Mugwadi called Mokoena “an embattled marriage wrecker in newsrooms” and said Mokoena was “a concubine” of a senior ANC leader. He also accused Mokoena of dating one of Zimbabwe’s former cabinet ministers who had fled to South Africa.
The South African National Editors’ Forum has also called on the Zanu-PF leadership to step in and discipline Mugwadi. On Saturday, Sanef said Mugwadi’s remarks against Mokoena were a bid to “intimidate, harass, and stop her from doing her job”. African News Agency (ANA)