ENRAGED by Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s escalating attacks on senior party leaders, Zanu PF’s politburo this week agreed to take punitive measures to deal with its petulan
Official sources said yesterday the politburo on Wednesday resolved to stop Moyo in his tracks. The decision-making body also discussed the manipulation of the state-controlled media by Moyo and expressed concern about the role of Zimpapers editors who it said had been roped into party politics.
Some politburo members said the editors were being used as “foot soldiers” to fight Moyo’s factional battles.
Zanu PF officials expressed alarm that the Herald, Chronicle, Sunday Mail and Sunday News and to some extent state radio and television had become propaganda vehicles for Moyo.
They reportedly complained that stories and anonymous columns in these newspapers were advancing Moyo’s personal interests and not those of Zanu PF. A case in point was the Sunday News’ Mzala Joe column which last weekend attacked party leaders over their reaction to the Tsholotsho Declaration and asked how a leadership election could “end up in the kind of political mess that now threatens the very survival of the party”.
Using expressions such as “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist” or “there is a difference of day and night” — usually associated with Moyo — the nameless columnist said: “Only time will tell but the writing is on the wall. Things are just not looking good and one prays that some good could be done now to avoid total disaster in March.”
This week’s politburo meeting came as Zanu PF officials were compiling a dossier to be submitted to President Mugabe for action against Moyo. Sources said the document would list a litany of cases of Moyo’s “structured defiance” against the party leadership and show he has now become a “damaging liability”.
It is understood the document will also cover what the authors describe as his “dubious party history” and acerbic attacks against Mugabe before he joined — or rejoined — Zanu PF in 1999.
Moyo claims he “grew up in and within Zanu PF politics” and on that basis calls Nkomo and Dabengwa “mafikizolos” (newcomers).
Moyo’s position is said to have become even more untenable after his recent clash with his permanent secretary George Charamba over the control of state newspapers, despite Charamba’s claim that his relationship with Moyo was cordial. The Independent understands Moyo recently wrote to Charamba lambasting him for accusing state editors of “zealous advocacy” and “being aggrieved on behalf of a private party member”.