Higher and Tertiary Education ministerJonathan Moyo has told President Robert Mugabe how he allegedly tried to form an opposition party with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, piling pressure on the under-fire politician.
By Everson Mushava
Moyo made the stunning allegations at an explosive Zanu PF politburo meeting last Wednesday, where he also revealed how Mnangagwa allegedly funded his 2005 Tsholotsho election campaign where he ran as an independent candidate, numerous ruling party sources have disclosed.
The minister was responding to an equallyhard-hitting presentation by the VP that sought to expose Moyo’s alleged links with the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and disloyalty to Mugabe.
Mnangagwa was giving his eagerly-awaited response to Moyo’s July 19 video presentation at the same platform that painted the VP as someone who had become too impatient to see Mugabe’s back.
Sources said Moyo’s unexpected response left Mnangagwa on the ropes, hours after the same politburo had endorsed plans to turn Zanu PF’s December conference into a special congress as the former Justice minister’s enemies in the ruling party intensify efforts to finish him off.
Moyo told the meeting that “despite his self-serving claim that he has 40 years of unbroken loyalty to the ruling party and Mugabe, Mnangagwa has not owned up ” to alleged plots to topple the 93-year-old ruler.
The minister said after the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration, where Zanu PF chairpersons went against the ruling party’s rules trying to push Mnangagwa into the presidium in 2004, “he sponsored independent candidates like me to fight Zanu PF in the 2005 general election.”
Impeccable sources said Moyo went on to give details of how Mnangagwa allegedly led the formation of the stillborn United People’s Movement (UPM) between 2005 and 2007.
He told the politburo that the UPM’s aim was to topple Mugabe and replace him with Mnangagwa. Mugabe was reportedly angered by the fresh revelations and has demanded that Mnangagwa must explain himself.
Moyo claimed that after the Tsholotsho debacle, the VP tried to engineer a central committee rebellion against Mugabe, before giving a detailed account of how Mnangagwa sponsored his campaign as an independent candidate.
He claimed the VP wanted to use his campaign as a rallying point against the veteran ruler.
The former University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer claimed Mnangagwa bought him a vehicle to use during the campaign, a Toyata Surf.
He said the car was bought through a Mr Mutangi and money for campaign materials such as T-shirts and other incidentals was obtained through a prominent executive at a leading local bank (name supplied).
However, it is the details of the formation of the UPM that allegedly caught Mnangagwa flat-footed and could seal his fate.
“Cde Mnangagwa, you have caused too many people to suffer for your lies,” Moyo allegedly said. “You always sponsor disloyalty to President Mugabe and Zanu PF, but you never own up for your instigating role.”
Moyo told the meeting Mnangagwa knew that he had first-hand knowledge of his alleged plots against Mugabe.
He said during the 2005 campaign where the former Information minister was running against a Zanu PF candidate Musa Mathema, Mnangagwa deployed his foot soldiers in the banking and legal sectors to bolster the campaign in Tsholotsho.
“Throughout the planning process, we had several strategising meetings at the residence of a prominent lawyer who is related to you,” Moyo is said to have told the VP.
“But you have not owned up to that. Instead, you have given a presentation that presents you as ‘Cde loyal’ when that is far from the truth”.
Moyo said Mnangagwa had made “noise about hearsay evidence” against him yet he had direct evidence as a “witness and a participant in the schemes against Mugabe”.
The minister said he met Mnangagwa on several occasions at Pearson Mbalekwa’s farm in Kwekwe and July Moyo’s farm, also in the same district, to plot against the Zanu PF leader.
Mbalekwa, a relative of the VP, was fired from Zanu PF after the Tsholotsho debacle, while July Moyo is considered a key strategist in Mnangagwa’s Lacoste faction.
Moyo said during the meetings, they drafted the policy document and manifesto for the stillborn UPM.
He said while Mnangagwa claimed Moyo had 200 mentions on Wikileaks, where he was passing information to American spies, the VP had more than that number.
He said they allegedly included encounters with “the Rhodesian Colonel Lionel Dyke with whom you engaged in a failed conspiracy to topple President Mugabe in favour of Morgan Tsvangirai in 2002.”
He cited one cable where Mbalekwa explained how Mnangagwa allegedly formed UPM and that he was its leader.
Besides Mbalekwa, sources said, Moyo said many others, including July Moyo, Mabel Chinomona and Daniel Shumba, knew about Mnangagwa’s UPM links.
The sources said Moyo said that “the time has come for you to also carry your cross” after detailing how Mnangagwa allegedly sacrificed others without taking responsibility.
Earlier, the VP had told the politburo that the issue to settle was who was more loyal to Mugabe between him and Moyo. Mnangagwa, sources said, described his nemesis as a mafikizolo (Johnny come-lately) and a CIA spy whose code was 00263.
He said Moyo was allegedly behind the leaking of sensitive state and Zanu PF secrets. The sources said Mnangagwa said Moyo was disloyal to Mugabe and used articles Moyo published during his time at the UZ in the late 1980s to early 1990s to back his claims.
The VP also cited articles Moyo published between 2005 and 2008 when his rival was an independent MP following his expulsion from Zanu PF.
He referred to Moyo’s meetings with US diplomats between 2005 and 2008, which were captured in the State Department diplomatic cables release by Wikileaks. He said that was evidence of Moyo’s spying activities.
He charged that Moyo has an inherently treacherous character and cited an entry in a book written by the late Ndabaningi Sithole’s wife, Vesta Suangweme Sithole, one of the source said.
Saungweme Sithole wrote in her memoirs about “Mr Jonathan Moyo”, who was supposed to visit several African countries with her in 1979 to “demonstrate the support that Ndabaningi Sithole had in Rhodesia” on their way to Britain for the Lancaster constitutional talks.
Moyo is said to have responded by saying: “Is every Jonathan Moyo out there because in 1979 he was an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California having started in 1978 after going to America in 1977”.
Mnangagwa also had Moyo on the ropes when he kept reviewing and highlighting the political scientist’ acerbic attacks on Mugabe, especially in 1992 and 1993.
Moyo told the politburo he had on numerous occasions owned up to his published record and “will continue to do that as many times as necessary.”
He said on the other hand, Mnangagwa continued to falsely present himself as squeaky clean with an unbroken record of loyalty to Mugabe, but his UPM role was evidence of his disloyalty and treachery.
Moyo declared that “there are too many participants who know about Mnangagwa’s involvement in the opposition party whom he said are itching to testify”.
Sources said Mnangagwa remained stone-faced during Moyo’s charge and did not respond, while Mugabe appeared to be angered by the “eyewitness account.”
Axed Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira was told to shut up by Mugabe after she tried to take the fight to G40, sources said.
Meanwhile, sources said Mnangagwa had suffered a severe blow at the start of the politburo meeting when Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo presented that plans for the party’s conference had been put on hold to make way for an extraordinary congress.
Chombo said the congress would be held in Harare after the majority of Zanu PF’s provinces petitioned for the event to confirm Mugabe as the party’s candidate for the 2018 elections.
Mugabe wants to use the congress to consolidate his power, which will enable him to choose his preferred successor, widely believed to be Sydney Sekeramayi.
Sources said Mnangagwa was caught unawares by Chombo’s report.
After the politburo endorsed Chombo’s report, Mnangawa took the floor to present his response to Moyo.
Moyo is said to have raised what he said was “a point in limine”, arguing that the matter was sub judice as Mnangagwa sued him over the July 19 video.
Sources said Mugabe quizzed both Mnangagwa and Moyo on what aspects of the presentation were sub judice. The Zanu PF leader is said to have bemoaned the alleged abuse of the politburo by people taking its matters to the courts.
He then ordered Mnangagwa to proceed with his presentation without making references to Godfrey Majonga.