20 October 2017

Zimbabwe: Fresh Politburo Details Emerge

FRESH details of last week's explosive politburo meeting where Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa responded to Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo's video-documentary dossier presented in the politburo on July 19 accusing him of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe to secure his ascendancy have emerged, showing that indeed there was a titanic battle between the party officials.

In his politburo presentation, Moyo portrayed the vice-president as a cruel, corrupt and power-hungry leader systematically trying to usurp power from Mugabe.

But as reported by the Independent a fortnight ago following the leaking of his 85-page response, Mnangagwa came out guns blazing against Moyo whom he accused of being a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy who had a record of being disloyal and critical of President Robert Mugabe.

Before Mnangagwa's presentation, his son Emmerson Jnr, personal assistant in his office Moses Undenge and the secretary in the Department of Legal Affairs at Zanu PF Headquarters, Catherine Magaya, prepared the boardroom by mounting three flat screen televisions.

They also brought three boxes full of documents.

Soon after Mnangagwa started making his presentation, Moyo interjected and said he had a point in limine to raise.

Moyo argued that Mnangagwa should not respond given that the matter was sub judice as it was in the High Court.

"He has sued me for US$3 million and I'm ready to defend his legal action in court, not here. The matter can only come back here after it has been disposed of by the High Court otherwise what Cde Mnangagwa is doing is forum shopping and he knows that's not right. There are now privileges at stake and I'm not prepared to waive my legal privileges on this matter," said Moyo.

Mnangagwa responded: "I'm a lawyer and I know about the sub judice rule. The only part that is sub judice is about Godfrey Majonga. I won't say anything about that except in court, but I want to reply to the rest of the allegations made against me by Cde Moyo in his video."

Moyo alleged in his presentation that Mnangagwa had forced Majonga, a former ZBC newscaster, to jump from the third floor of a Harare flat in 1987 after catching him with his girlfriend.

After some heated exchanges during which Mnangagwa and Moyo left no doubt that their attitudes towards each other had hardened, Mugabe directed Mnangagwa to proceed with his presentation but stay clear of the Majonga part.

Mnangagwa started with an eight-minute video presentation whose running theme and conclusion was that the politburo needed to establish who was more loyal to Mugabe and Zanu PF between him and Moyo.

The video presentation had a montage of footage going back to the liberation struggle showing Mnangagwa with Mugabe and other luminaries. It also depicted Mnangagwa in various roles between 1980 and now.

The voice over narration was taken from an introduction that Zanu PF National Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere did of Mnangagwa when he was the guest of honour at a rally to drum up support for his wife, Auxillia, during the Chirumanzu-Zibagwe by-election in 2015.

Kasukuwere introduced Mnangagwa as a person with a 40-year history of uninterrupted and solid loyalty to Mugabe and Zanu PF. This was presented in sharp contrast to what Mnangagwa said was Moyo's anti-Mugabe and anti-Zanu PF stance.

Mnangagwa charged that Moyo was a CIA spy. He said the US Embassy in Harare had confirmed the allegation.

The vice-president complained bitterly about the fact that Moyo was allowed to make his video presentation without him getting any notice of the presentation, arguing that his legal rights were violated including principles of natural justice.

"Mnangagwa presented articles that Moyo wrote as a University of Zimbabwe academic before he joined Zanu PF. Most of the articles were done in 1992 and 1993 which were critical of Mugabe and Zanu PF. Mnangagwa also extensively relied on articles that Moyo published mostly in the Zimbabwe Independent after he was expelled from Zanu PF in 2005 and these articles were published between 2005 and 2007. One of the articles he repeatedly used was published in 2006 by the Zimbabwe Independent titled 'Why Mugabe Must Go Now'," said an official.

He also referred to some WikiLeaks cables of meetings that Moyo held with US diplomats in Harare when he was an Independent MP for Tsholotsho between 2005 and 2007.

Mnangagwa said Moyo had used information given to him by his cousin Major Nkosana Moyo to report alleged coup plots by the military to Mugabe. He said Moyo's coup plots allegations were destabilising.

"He said the whole army was loyal and played two video clips of General (Constantine) Chiwenga pledging loyalty to the national political leadership," said an official.

Mnangagwa also said Moyo should defend himself over Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund corruption allegations.

In his response, Moyo said Mnangagwa had dismally failed to respond to the issues raised in his presentation about the vice-president's systematic programme to topple Mugabe according to a strategy in the "Blue Ocean" document.

Moyo had alleged that the Mashonaland Central demonstration that led to nine Zanu PF provinces expressing votes-of-no-confidence on Kasukuwere was an example of Mnangagwa's Blue Ocean Strategy in action. He said there was a clear link that can easily be verified between the 2015 Blue Ocean document and the interview that Mnangagwa had given to a British magazine, The New Statesman.

Moyo said the Blue Ocean document and The New Statesman interview carried exactly the same words in making allegations that Mugabe created G40 to spite his deputy and that "Mugabe feigns love for Mnangagwa when he in facts dislikes him and has allowed little mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies) to humiliate Mnangagwa".

When Mugabe asked Moyo to read parts of Mnangagwa's New Statesman interview, Cleveria Chizema interjected and heckled Moyo. She said there was no need for Moyo to read any excerpts of Mnangagwa's interview.

An emotional Chizema said Mnangagwa's reading of Moyo's criticism of Mugabe had left her upset because she cannot stand people who criticise the President.

First Lady Grace Mugabe responded to Chizema by saying she respects Moyo because he has never hidden his past writings or political activities, but has owned up to them in the politburo on several occasions. She said this was unlike others who never own up to their misdeeds.

Mugabe added that the politburo was full of many who criticise him, adding he had information about that. He referred to the Mujuru period and said what was happening now was similar to the "gamatox" days when the likes of Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo would criticise him.

Prisca Mupfumira, who was recently fired from cabinet, got into the fray, complaining that Moyo's video had put her name as the Mnangagwa faction's main organiser in Mashonaland West out of a list of 482 names that Moyo said were the vice-president's foot soldiers across the country.

Moyo resumed his conversation and said there were striking similarities between his presentation and a report that the Independent had said is Mnangagwa's response to his presentation.

"Moyo said Mnangagwa had not even rewritten the 85 pager exposed by the Zimbabwe Independent. Instead he had done a shoddy cut-and-paste job in which he just removed the names of some people he had dragged into the mud and stoked a storm of a reaction," said a senior politburo member.

"Only the names of (Ibbo) Mandaza, Kasukuwere, (Mduduzi) Mathuthu and (Edmund) Kudzayi, whom he accused of working with Moyo, had remained. Moyo said while there were minor additions like the video projecting Mnangagwa as 'Cde Most Loyal', the content of the material was the same and in many cases, such as the reference of Sapes adding the wording is verbatim. Moyo said it was a shame that Mnangagwa had leaked the document to smear and assassinate the characters of innocent people."

Moyo took exception to Mnangagwa's reference to Major Nkosana Moyo and said the reference was malicious and unbefitting of a vice- president to abuse intelligence information given confidentially to Mugabe. He insisted that it was his right and duty to give Mugabe any information that may be of interest to him and that it was up to Mugabe to decide what to do with the information.

Moyo said unlike Mnangagwa, he had not met with any foreign diplomat as a government minister or politburo member without the presence of officers from the Foreign Affairs ministry.

He said all his articles critical of Mugabe and Zanu PF were published when he was not a member of the party, adding he had owned up to the opinions in and outside the politburo and was prepared to continue doing so.

Moyo stunned Mnangagwa when he said the vice-president was the brainchild behind the stillborn United People's Movement (UPM) meant to challenge Mugabe.Mnangagwa in response said: "Aizve awuya nezvimwe futi (he is bringing up more issues)"

Moyo said Mnangagwa was in the habit of sponsoring disloyalty to Mugabe but never owned up.

Moyo said Mnangagwa had sponsored him to run as an independent candidate in Tsholotsho in 2005, adding "you got your key foot soldiers in the banking and legal sectors to provide all the necessary campaign materials including a four-wheel-drive Toyota Surf".

He said that they had several strategising meetings at the residence of a prominent lawyer related to Mnangagwa as he challenged his loyalty.

Moyo also said they held several meetings at his nephew Pearson Mbalekwa and July Moyo's farms in Kwekwe where they drafted the UPM policy document and manifesto. He said Mnangagwa participated in the meetings.

The Higher Education minister added Mnangagwa had 266 WikiLeaks mentions, adding that one of them is by a US diplomat called Eric Shultz which details a verbatim conversation with Mbalekwa where he explained "that you formed UPM and you were its leader."

Mnangagwa said the politburo had to determine who is more loyal to Zanu PF and Mugabe between him and Moyo.

"He presented himself as more loyal to Mugabe and Zanu PF for over 40 years while Moyo was 'a mafikizolo' whom he portrayed as a treacherous and divisive CIA agent who has never supported Mugabe and Zanu PF. He said his spy number was 00263, and was in the habit of leaking sensitive state and party secrets to the private media and foreign spies,"another seniorpolitburo member said.

Mnangagwa sought to buttress his case by quoting Moyo's previous Independent articles extensively.

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