AS the Zimbabwe Independent accurately reported on June 23, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was put in the Zanu PF politburo dock and grilled on Wednesday by bitter rival Jonathan Moyo, who is baying for his blood.
By Owen Gagare
Senior politburo members said Moyo confronted Mnangagwa in a fierce battle royale with charges of factionalism and divisive succession manoeuvres at the explosive meeting.
This comes as it emerged that the ruling party, torn asunder by internal strife, will convene yet another politburo session to give Mnangagwa a chance to respond to the litany of accusations Moyo levelled against him.
Moyo, a key strategist of the G40 faction which has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe, now rooting for Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi to succeed President Robert Mugabe (93), used an hour-long video presentation, backed by some photos and a written dossier, to tackle Mnangagwa over the acrimonious issue.
Moyo used a smart board — an interactive board that uses touch detection for user input like a normal personal computer device — to show the long video and present a detailed dossier on Mnangagwa’s succession plan.
“It was an unprecedented show in the history of Zanu PF,” one senior politburo member said. “Moyo made a video presentation, a long documentary in other words, to build a case of divisive and destabilising succession manoeuvres against Mnangagwa.”
“The presentation was very long, but other than Mnangagwa’s strong reaction and a few mutterings of protests no one else replied. Mugabe was quiet. It was then resolved that another session will be held for Mnangagwa to reply.”
Moyo is said to have brought the video and a dossier to demonstrate how Mnangagwa has captured the state and critical institutions to advance his succession ambitions.
Among other issues, Moyo’s dossier raised the looting of Zanu PF companies, Mnangagwa’s village parties, attacks against Mugabe by war veterans and youths loyal to the vice-president and the clandestine forced retirement of the late Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
He also produced the list of the Mnangagwa faction in full and spoke about the demonstrations against his G40 ally, the party’s embattled national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere. However, Mnangagwa, whom sources said looked rattled by the attack, strongly hit back at Moyo, accusing him of being an American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy.
“Mnangagwa reacted strongly and fought back, waving his own dossier which he said contains evidence that Moyo was a CIA spy,” said a senior Zanu PF official. “He said Moyo wants to destroy the party from within.”
Sources also said Mnangagwa claimed to know Moyo’s local allies , including a local journalist, who were involved in preparing the video and dossier, saying Zanu PF was infiltrated by foreign agents or spies. He complained about a coordinated and systematic campaign to damage his reputation and undermine him.
“Mnangagwa said he is surprised Zanu PF has allowed a CIA spy to infiltrate it and rise to very high positions in the party and government unchallenged. He reportedly had information from military intelligence on Moyo’s activities,” one source said. “However, Moyo insisted that Mnangagwa and his allies were plotting behind the scenes to oust Mugabe and seize power by clandestine and even subversive means.”
Sources said Mnangagwa’s dossier includes Moyo’s razor-sharp newspaper opinions attacking Mugabe and Wikileaks cables which reveal that Moyo, like many other senior Zanu PF officials, had held secret meetings with American diplomats in the past.
Mnangagwa has denied having ambitions to replace Mugabe. Moyo has been defending Kasukuwere who also stands accused of plotting to oust Mugabe.