PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba has been accused of wife battering after he allegedly beat his spouse in a domestic row over a missing gun.
e accusations against Charamba, which have surfaced in the ruling Zanu PF newspaper, The Voice, come against a background of fierce infighting at the Information ministry and between the ministry and the Zanu PF information department.
Deputy Information minister Bright Matonga said yesterday in the state media he was aware senior ministry officials were plotting his downfall. The infighting reflects factionalism in Zanu PF and wrangling in state departments.
Charamba, who has reportedly clashed with government colleagues and state media employees, has lately been locked in a war of words with the editor of The Voice, Lovemore Mataire, over an unclear dispute.
Mataire two weeks ago attacked the author of the Herald’s Nathaniel Manheru column saying he was a “British agent” and “saboteur”. He said Manheru was a “double agent” and “liar” who gushed “stinking effluent”.
Mataire claimed Manheru – who former Information minister Jonathan Moyo has identified as Charamba – indulged in “spousal abuse and other immoral activities”. Charamba had earlier described Mataire as a failed and incompetent editor who makes “spectacular political and editorial goofs”.
Charamba – who is also Information permanent secretary – was said to have assaulted his wife last year on February 24 at their Mandara home after a gun dispute.
Sources said Charamba attacked his ailing wife, Rudo, who had just been released from hospital at the time, angering family members and government officials.
The sources said the case was reported at Borrowdale police station after relatives and friends intervened. Charamba was said to have in turn made a report at Highlands police station about a missing gun.
Charamba would not comment on the issue yesterday. He referred queries to his lawyer Johannes Tomana. “Can you talk to Tomana, he is my lawyer,” he said.
Asked for comment, Tomana said: “There was that matter by the police but the case was withdrawn. Check that with the wife (Rudo).”
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said he would check the issue. “I’m still checking with Borrowdale police. We don’t have (in police parlance) a case called wife battering, it’s called assault,” he said.
Manheru also accused Mataire of hobnobbing with opposition politicians and moonlighting for the Voice of America’s Studio 7.
He said Mataire recently went on a jaunt with a girlfriend and suffered a car crash which cost her an eye and left his marriage “in tatters”. – Staff Writer.