14 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Prof Moyo Scoffs At Chiwenga Coup Threat

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo has scoffed at Defence Forces Commander Constantine Chiwenga demand that President Robert Mugabe stops the ructions and purges which have rocked Zanu PF.

Internecine fights in the ruling party have already claimed the scalp of self-exiled former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa with rivals looking to expel dozens of ministers and senior party officials said to have supported him.

Zanu PF is at war over the succession of Mugabe, who is now 93-years-old. The row pits the so-called Lacoste group which rallies behind Mnangagwa and the G40 faction featuring the likes of Moyo which is said to enjoy the support of the Mugabe family.

Lacoste appeared to have suffered a mortal blow with the expulsion of Mnangagwa and passing of no-confidence votes against his allies in Cabinet and the ruling party.

But on Monday General Chiwenga, a key Mnangagwa ally, called a press conference in Harare where he demanded that the purges cease, threatening military intervention if they continue.

And in remarks seen as directed at the higher education minister and his allies, Chiwenga said; "the known counter-revolutionary elements who have fomented the current instability in the party must be exposed and fished out".

However, Moyo, a key G40 driver, scoffed at the General's remarks.

A few hours after Chiwenga issued his statement, Moyo popped on Twitter to remark that "Kungovukura vukura ini zete kuvata zvangu (ineffectual barking over which I don't lose sleep) in apparent reference to the press conference.

Moyo has been a staunch critic of Mnangagwa despite admitting he worked with the former vice president in a succession plot about a decade ago over which the minister was fired from government and expelled from Zanu PF.

Zanu PF has over the years failed to end divisions over Mugabe's succession. The disagreements again came to a head in 2014 with the dismissal of then vice president Joice Mujuru and dozens of her allies from the government and the ruling party.

She was accused of trying to illegally topple Mugabe and her expulsion was said to represent the end of factionalism in the ruling party.

But three years later another vice president has been fired over pretty much the same allegations. Like Mujuru before him, Mnangagwa was accused of disloyalty, deceit, unreliability and lacking in probity when executing duties.

The Lacoste godfather, who is believed to be South Africa, responded with a statement which warning Mugabe to ready for his return to take overpower in two weeks.

Chiwenga said the infighting in the ruling party was adversely impacting the country's economy which has been in the grip of a serious crisis for nearly two decades.

"As a result of the squabbling, there has been no meaningful development in the country over the last five years," said Chiwenga in the presence of about 30 army bosses.

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