ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo has fingered cabinet ministers Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sithembiso Nyoni as individuals who poured money into Tsholotsho,
causing serious divisions in the party two years ago.
Nkomo was giving evidence on the second day of a civil lawsuit in which former Information minister Jonathan Moyo is suing him together with fellow politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa for defamation amounting to $200 million.
Testifying, Nkomo alleged certain individuals had funded officials in the Tsholotsho district co-ordinating committee (DCC). Asked by the presiding judge, Justice Francis Bere, who the funders were, Nkomo responded by naming the two cabinet ministers.
“People who were paying members of the Tsholotsho DCC are Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sithembiso Nyoni. There was $2 million that was to be availed by Nyoni in unclear circumstances,” Nkomo told the court.
Nkomo said the problem in the Tsholotsho DCC was that other members of the committee were paid foreign money while others were not paid, which he said caused divisions in the committee.
“During the meeting we called in Tsholotsho in January 2005 to find out what happened at Dinyane, revelations were made that some people were paid monies and in one case a Mafu told the same meeting that he travelled to Harare where he was paid monies by Mnangagwa,” Nkomo said.
Nkomo denied defaming Moyo and said the allegations were fabricated by Moyo to divert attention from his waning political career.
“These allegations are false and this is a case of someone bringing issues in a bid to divert attention from his waning political career. That is the reason he is coming up with such creations,” Nkomo said.
“When this young man (Moyo) joined the party the next thing he was in the central committee and the next minute in the politburo and suddenly he was a cabinet minister. He then became bigheaded. He came on board at the speed of light and that confused him, he saw himself as a genius.”
Nkomo told the court that party members at the Tsholotsho meeting of January 2005 told the Zanu PF national leadership that the resolutions in Tsholotsho were to remove Joseph Msika as vice-president and bring in Mnangagwa while Patrick Chinamasa was to replace Nkomo, and Thenjiwe Lesabe was to come in as vice-president.
The defence team made several references to politburo minutes in their bid to prove that Nkomo and Dabengwa did not defame Moyo.
Nkomo also testified that Moyo was never in the liberation struggle.
“I never met him, I did know him and I have never met anyone who says they know him. Even in the camps that he says he was I never had the privilege of knowing he was there,” Nkomo told the court.
Moyo in his evidence-in-chief indicated that he took part in the war of liberation and had been in camps in Tanzania and in Zambia.
It also emerged in court that Matabeleland North was the only province in the country that backed a party directive for Vice-President Joice Mujuru to be voted into office.
The revelations came out in court where confidential and private minutes of the Zanu PF politburo meeting of the first of December 2004 were read out as part of evidence presented by the defence team.
The minutes indicated how unpopular Mujuru was during the time and also show that there was serious whipping of provinces to back her into her current position.
Extract 3.69 of the politburo minutes state that President Mugabe was angry at why only Matabeleland North province had complied with a party circular that was sent out to all provinces urging them to back a woman candidate for the vice-president’s position.
This meant that 11 of the country’s 12 provinces did not initially back Mujuru for the position.
The secret party documents that include politburo, central committee and Zanu PF district co-ordinating committee minutes, are now used as public records in court with each team using them to support its case.
The Tsholotsho saga caused serious ructions in Zanu PF that led to the suspension of provincial chairpersons and Moyo’s ultimate dismissal from government over his alleged role in the foiled palace coup.
Senior government ministers and officials who include Chinamasa, Abedinigo Ncube, Andrew Langa, and war veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba, are expected to testify in the case.
The case continues today at the Bulawayo High Court.
Moyo in his court papers claims that Nkomo and Dabengwa alleged that he had “instigated, funded and led the hatching of a plot against Mugabe and others in the top leadership of the party”.