The tiff between President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ministers sparked by Tanzania’s response to the coronavirus outbreak escalated on Wednesday with Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi saying he is now living in fear of Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo.
By Staff Reporter
Three days ago, Moyo issued a statement disassociating the government from Mutodi’s statements ridiculing Tanzanian President John Magafuli’s approach to the pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives across the world.
The flamboyant deputy minister then accused Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa and her husband, Chris, of being behind Moyo’s statements broadcast by ZBC and published by state controlled newspapers.
Mutodi on Wednesday tweeted: “Living in fear of the Chris Mustvangwa – Sibusiso Moyo coalition. I hope it won’t resort to wartime tactics. Appealing for prayers.”
The deputy government’s tweet that was dismissed by Moyo read: “HE John Pombe Magafuli ‘s Tanzania now has 630 Covid-19 cases with prayers but without a lockdown while His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe only got 31 cases with a lockdown and masks. An insight into how managers can be game changers.”
As of Wednesday, Zimbabwe had 37 confirmed coronavirus cases with four deaths and 12 recoveries.
Since his surprise appointment as deputy minister Mutodi in 2018 has on several occasions clashed with Monica Mutsvangwa.
He is a Mnangagwa loyalist, who was arrested on several occasions by former president Robert Mugabe’s government, after he started actively campaigning for the then vice president.
Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe in 2017 following a military coup.
Mutodi often uses social media to attack Zanu PF opponents and observers say his remarks about Moyo and the Mutsvangwas could be a reflection of a wider rift in government.