EMBATTLED Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, battling for survival on politically shifting sands, has come out guns blazing in his response to Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s video-documentary dossier presented in the politburo on July 19 accusing him of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe to secure his ascendancy.
By Owen Gagare
In an 85-page report, delivered to Mugabe last month and exclusively obtained by the Zimbabwe Independent from the vice-president’s political network, Mnangagwa made a series of allegations, claims and assertions against Moyo and his key G40 allies, including Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere. He claimed they are the ones plotting to remove the president, not him. He said he is resolutely loyal to Mugabe.
Mnangagwa is leading a Zanu PF faction fighting with the G40 group, coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe, in a protracted succession war. Mphoko, Moyo and Kasukuwere are key G40 members.
In his politburo presentation, Moyo portrayed the vice-president as a cruel, corrupt and power-hungry leader systematically trying to usurp power from Mugabe.
In response, Mnangagwa said Moyo was the plotter and a United States Central Intelligence Agency agent who has infiltrated the party to destroy it from within. He said apart from his G40 allies, Moyo was working in cahoots with US diplomats, western embassy officials and opposition leaders against Zanu PF. Mnangagwa also said Moyo was working with former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa and Sapes Trust boss Ibbo Mandaza on his succession project. Former MDC-T leader Morgn Tsvangirai’s advisor Alex Magaisa was also accused of dabbling in Mugabe’s succession.
The vice-president accused Moyo of recording politburo sessions and government meetings for Western embassies. He said even the July 19 politburo meeting was recorded. “I can tell you Your Excellency, the same presentation, including audio recordings of discussions of the last politburo meeting done by Professor Moyo, were delivered to Western embassies by his right hand man Edmund Kudzayi . . .,” he says.
“On August 3 2017, the United States embassy senior management and its intelligence operatives met and discussed issues that we deliberated on here using a recording they have confirmed was made by Professor Moyo. His decision to distribute the proceedings of the meeting confirms who his handlers are and his not-so-hidden intentions insofar as his project to destroy Zanu PF from within is concerned.”
Mnangagwa challenged Moyo “to confirm or deny” the charge.
“Your Excellency, I put it to you that even American Ambassador Harry Thomas, and his colleagues can confirm what I have just said,” writes Mnangagwa.
Asked to respond to allegations that Moyo was a CIA spy and was supplying the US embassy with information, David McGuire, embassy spokesperson, said: “In their day to day work, embassy staff meet and talk with individuals from across the whole of Zimbabwe’s social, political and cultural spectrum to help forge and maintain the best possible bilateral ties. The United States government supports democratic processes. We do not support nor fund individuals or political parties. Zimbabwe’s political discourse and decisions about its future are a matter for Zimbabweans.”
Mnangagwa said Moyo, Gono, Mandaza and Kasukuwere were running a succession project using his name to mask their plot. He said Moyo and his allies want Gono to be the next president.
“Professor Moyo has been luring Dr Gono, telling him that they will make him the country’s next president and I can tell you that there was a picture which circulated in the media, where Professor Moyo was standing together with former advisor to Morgan Tsvangirai, Dr Alex Magaisa and Cde Kasukuwere at the Plot Restaurant (in Borrowdale),” Mnangagwa says.
“Dr Gono was also present, but he refused to be part of the picture crew, and this has been confirmed by Dr Alex Magaisa, as well as his female companion, who is well-known to Professor Moyo and who happened to have accompanied him for coffee at that restaurant.”
Gono, now chairman of the Special Economic Zones Authority (Seza), laughed when asked about the alleged succession project and the Borrowdale meeting, saying: “In keeping with my upbringing, I respect all members of my party Zanu PF and I do not punch above my weight in thought, word or deed. It would be out of line and protocol if I was to shame the source of that report and my seniors by rubbishing the assertions you allege to be contained in the so-called report by the VP as I’m not aware of the alleged meeting to discuss such delicate matters.
“The authors of the report, if indeed it exists, should go back to their sources and check their facts. Their real enemies are their sources, no one else. In my job as Seza chairman, I meet a lot of people from across the political divide. Finally, I’m on record as saying that I do not belong to any faction and that I stand by my President till death do us apart. Any talk of or around succeeding him before his time is out of bounce for me and can only be promoted by those who do not know the party constitution and what it says in respect thereof. Fortunately I’m not one of those who do not know.”
Magaisa said he has never attended a Zanu PF succession meeting.
“I went to a restaurant with two friends for breakfast. We exchanged greetings with fellow Zimbabweans who were also there and a picture was taken upon request. I saw no problem with it as I get pictures taken many times with readers of the Big Saturday Read, my law and politics blog,” he said.
“That much has been and is being made of that picture demonstrates a real serious shortcoming in the intelligence of those who are making a mountain out of a molehill.”
Mnangagwa also said Moyo’s presentation at Sapes Trust on June 1, where he made suggestions Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi was a better candidate to succeed Mugabe than Mnangagwa, pointed to “a sinister joining of minds between Moyo and Mandaza”, who has been pushing for a National Transitional Authority.
Mandaza said he would only comment after reading Mnangagwa’s report.
“The idea then is to talk about succession outside the party domain and then smuggle it in as is happening now,” says Mnangagwa. “This brings us to the question, who are the real successionists in Zanu PF? The real successionist is Professor Moyo who is ably supported by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Cde Kasukuwere here.
“I ask VP Mphoko if he has ever given His Excellency minutes of the numerous meetings they hold at Number 4 Coffee Road (Mphoko’s official residence). Their aides can confirm spending loads of time waiting for these men to finish their meetings, which in most cases run into the wee hours of the night.”
Mnangagwa further claimed Moyo and Kasukuwere formed militia groups and tried to hire Jim Kunaka to attack rivals and had links with MDC-T, particularly with Chamisa. “Together they have formed an alliance with their collaborators within the MDC-T and their thrust as the progressive elements, they say they are is to remove the older generation surrounding you through means outside normal processes,” Mnangagwa says.
“Nelson Chamisa confided with one of his friends that their plan is to, among other things, cause the purge of the party’s senior leadership, one by one in order to create a free pathway for them to power. In Chamisa’s own words ‘we need to deal with His Excellency in order to determine the future of Zanu PF’.”
Mnangagwa alleged Moyo and Kasukuwere have also been trying to seize control of the army.
“Their plan has revolved around systematically eliminating the war veteran element within the military establishment since they are aware of the unbreakable bond that exists between the army and Zanu PF,” he says.
“The very people who have stood with the President since the liberation war days are the ones now being accused by those who deserted of orchestrating a coup d’etat against the very person they have loyally served for over four decades.”
Mnangagwa claimed in March 2016, a G40 allay, Rodney Dangarembizi, approached Major-General Trust Mugova trying to recruit him into their fold.
“Dangarembizi, who was a previous acquaintance of Major-General Mugova, was sent specifically to dangle a carrot to him to join the gang with the promise that he would be appointed Commander Defence Forces,” the vice-president says.
He said Moyo and his associates had also tried to drive a wedge between Mugabe and army generals by peddling falsehoods of an imminent coup. “On July 5 2016, while you were out of the country, Professor Moyo concocted a story that his cousin Major Nkosana Moyo who is with the Presidential Guard informed you of a planned coup by the army and ‘install me as the country’s new leader’,” Mnangagwa says. “You specifically cited (Brigadier)-General (Anselem) Sanyatwe as the brains behind the alleged coup d’etat.”
The vice-president said Moyo had also assembled a team of journalists to promote his succession project. He said former Sunday Mail editor Kudzayi, whom he insisted worked on the Baba Jukwa project with Moyo, and ex-Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu produced the video-documentary presented to the politburo.
He also said Moyo was also working closely with three reporters from the NewsDay and Daily News newspapers. He claims one of the reporters was paid US$9 000 to do some G40 hatchet job.
Mnangagwa also said Moyo has never liked Mugabe and Zanu PF. He produced and quoted a series of his past articles when he was outside the party to support that.
On Kasukuwere, he also suggested he was a spy working closely with the former Charge D’Affairs at the European Union delegation in Zimbabwe, Carl Skau, now Alternate Representative of Sweden to the United Nations. Mnangagwa said although he has been accused of interfering in the work of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, it was G40 officials, particularly Mphoko, Moyo and Kasukuwere, who were meddling in its affairs. He alleged Kasukuwere tried to bribe Goodson Nguni to drop Zimdef corruption allegations against Moyo.
“The national commissar here on January 4, 2017, invited Nguni for lunch at Paula’s Restaurant at corner Samora Machel and Glenara Road,” he says. “I challenge Cde Kasukuwere to confirm that he offered Nguni US$20 000 which was dangled by one of your colleagues at the meeting including real estate in Borrowdale,” writes Mnangagwa.
The vice-presidents also said Kasukuwere has been trying to recruit expelled party members using money and stands. He said former war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda had been ecocashed money and booked at Meikles Hotel by G40 to talks to come back to Zanu PF. Mnangagwa said Kasukuwere and Moyo had also approached the president of the Chiefs Council Fortune Charumbira to join them to fight Mnangagwa.
He also said Kasukuwere invited his allies to his Borrowdale home soon after his return from the United Nations Conference on Disaster and Risk Reduction in Mexico to tell them that Mugabe had ordered that they should “go after me.”
“(Rushinga MP Wonder) Mashange tells anyone who cares to listen that it was you Your Excellency who directed that Moyo should address the Sapes Dialogue where he discussed the succession issue, throwing Dr Sekeramayi’s name,” Mnangagwa says.
The report also contains a series of further allegations against many other people.