Moyo put-down shows Mugabe is in charge

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s withering attack on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo is a show of power by Zimbabwe’s long-ruling leader.

By throwing Moyo to the wolves in such a public and humiliating manner, Mugabe has reminded all and sundry that he is in firm control of the levers of power in Zanu PF and the country.

The nonagenarian leader launched a stinging attack on Moyo in Harare last Friday at the funeral wake of Zanu PF stalwart and former journalist Nathan Shamuyarira — who died aged 85 after a long illness.

“The views that he (Cde Shamuyarira, a former Information minister) put across (in) the paper were the views of the party that appealed to the people.

I am saying this in the light of what is happening now where you have our minister of Information wanting to put people one against another. It’s a matter we were discussing the day before yesterday (in the Politburo).

“You don’t do things like that; you want to build society — you put those who have principles in front and you don’t try to destroy them, no.

The right of the people, yes, we must protect them, their religion, their culture; the freedom of choice, yes, but that does not entitle us to condemn ourselves even after the glory of July 31, 2013.

“Intellectuals, don’t try to use your intellectual knowledge to deceive people. We are simple people, we want bread and butter. We are simple; we want honest leadership, the truth. Are you our leader, they will ask you the individual and all of you kana muchiita izvi?

“Ndiri kutaura izvi nekuti vese vakomana vakanga vakatungamirira mumapaper vakatandwa kuchinotorwa veMDC vachiiswa kuti imi makati tonho muchifunga kuti tine munhu arikutiitira zvakanaka, the devil incarnate,” Mugabe said.

No one had seen this coming, considering the fact that Mugabe has mostly shown decorum in dealing with delicate party and State matters over the past 34 years.

Indeed, he is not the type who blurts out ill-considered views in public, attacking his officials. This is why his broadside against Moyo is significant.

Also, very significant is the fact that before the Friday wake, the politburo had discussed Moyo and his perceived abuse of the State media against senior party officials and ministers.

So, is Moyo as good as fired? And how does the minister expect to maintain respect from colleagues and the public after being rebuked like this?

It does remain to be seen how the Zanu PF strategist will put on a brave face going forward when the man who hired him told the whole world that he is a “devil incarnate”.

And Mugabe twisted his life lethal knife in Moyo’s defenceless body a day later, during the burial of Shamuyarira, when he equated the embattled minister and some senior officials in Zanu PF to weevils.

But as stunning as the events of the past few days maybe to some people, they are not really a big surprise given recent Zanu PF dynamics.

Indeed, it would appear that Mugabe’s patience has been wearing thin with Moyo and others since the end of 2013 when the State media seemingly began launching a series of selective attacks on senior figures such as Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa.

In November, Mutasa was left bristling with anger after he was described as a “dwarf in a giant’s robes” in a stinging editorial in The Herald during the contentious Zanu PF provincial elections which were marred by allegations of cheating and vote-rigging.

“I think that is absolutely wrong, misusing the media and in certain instances when people behave that way, that is sometimes referred to as corruption.
“You don’t use your office to scandalise those who are not in the same office and those who cannot respond to those words,” Mutasa retorted then.

“You see, when you refer to us as dwarfs in huge robes, how do you expect me to answer? Because I am not in charge of any newspaper. I can only go to newspapers to answer, but which newspaper will I use if my own newspaper refers to me that way.”

On April 2, Moyo appeared to hit back at Mugabe who had warned the State media against blacklisting former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, after the president had visited Gono at his farm near Norton.

“They say some people are on the blacklist and the blacklist comes from the ministry. Why should we have a blacklist as if it’s a credit facility?” Moyo told journalists at the inaugural meeting of the Independent Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) in Harare.

“I was shocked when my good friend, the former governor (Gono) suggested there are people who don’t want him covered. He told the president something to that effect.

“If the one who is alleging it is lying, the media should tell that person he was lying . . . In jest, I thought he can’t say that because he has his own newspaper, why not go to that newspaper?”

On May 25, Moyo was quoted in The Sunday Mail announcing amendments to the indigenisation law under a massive headline, “Govt in major climbdown”.

A day later, The Sunday Mail’s stablemate, The Herald, sought to minimise the damage by attacking The Sunday Mail, alleging that there were no such amendments.

Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema also dismissed Moyo’s assertions a few days later and was supported by the Zanu PF politburo which sat to discuss the proposals at its meeting last Wednesday.

And last week proved almost fatal for Moyo!

Receiving some obscure tourism awards from the European Council on Tourism and Trade on June 4, Mugabe showered Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi with praise for his hard work which had been instrumental in Zimbabwe earning the awards.

Two important things happened then.

Firstly, The Herald did not publish pictures of Mugabe and Mzembi receiving the awards, yet the private media, often addressed disparagingly in official circles, covered the awards extensively.

And Mugabe’s fulsome praise of Mzembi’s feats was also not covered in The Herald, while the private press and some online publications reported on this wringing endorsement of the tourism minister extensively.

Against this background, it is possible to locate and surmise Mugabe’s anger and his subsequent vitriolic attack on Moyo.
It is also possible to argue that this, in reality, has nothing to do with Zanu PF’s much talked about succession wars!

Yet still, it is also possible that Mugabe, by savaging Moyo so publicly and humiliatingly, has merely used the proverbial tactic of attacking the dog to smoke out its owner.

And if that view is correct, then it may be a matter of time before “the owner” is revealed!

But what is not an issue or up for debate in all this is that the power in Zanu PF firmly resides with Mugabe, with his attack on Moyo a strong reminder to those who doubted him due to advanced age and deteriorating health that he is still “the man” in Zanu PF and the government.

The next few days and weeks will certainly be very interesting to watch for political observers as all players in this intriguing saga play their cards in this deadly tango.

Comments (10)

If you listen to what Mujuru said and what Moyo's response was you will notice who is in charge not Mugabe. The same people who sent people into farms and who amassed untold wealth are in charge. Please media tell us the truth Mugabe is long gone is just a shadow being used to scare.

upenyu Ndishe - 9 June 2014

Jonathan Moyo is capable of doing anything. This fall-out may even be his on idea.

Joyce Mujuruuu - 9 June 2014

Mugabe no longer has the power,thats the truth. What is happening now,he is being used by those in warring factions who have political scores to settle. It matters most who were the greatest contributors in that politburo meeting,otherwise i see Moyo being used as the scapegoat for two warring factions.

Shona - 9 June 2014

Silencing Moyo will be a win for another faction and a lose to the other faction. Wait and see,vachiri kumbovharidzirwaka zvichiperera mumba, chichatubuka zvacho, ko zvinoenda nekupi. The truth is that those with the brains in Zanu Pf are quite aware that they are not going anywhere with the 90-yr old president but what is paining most is the fact that nobody is daring start the succession issue and in that fear they all say,' Mugabe our life president.' Shuwa party ine madoctors, engineers and lawyers, nobody is raising his head to solve this issue. I tell you ZANU PF is a time bomb. It was wiser if that issue was solved Mugabe vachirikufamba nekunyora like this. ZANU PF's infighting are likely to cause more political instabilities in Zim than if MDC were to win the government. Wake up guys.

Shona - 9 June 2014

Xxxx xxx xxx hmmmm Guthrie. You honestly believe that these developments prove that Mugabe is in power? Doesn't it actually expose Mugabe's bad leadership...As far as we know, Jonathan was a fierce critic of Mugabe. Then in his desperation or wisdom Mugabe hired him...then fired him....then rehired him. Anyway is ther anythin wrong with Moyo going ahead to expose corruption? The nation and economy is more important than party politics. Lets fight corruption.

weevil - 10 June 2014

Guthrie, my take that this analysis is superficial. I would boldly state that Mugabe is nolonger in control of his party. By publicly (it's not humiliating) attacking a man/person who serves him (or his government) at HIS PLEASURE is the clearest sign that Mugabe has now lost his bearings. Moyo lost an election. It is public knowledge. He is a Minister because Mugabe offered him. So to publicly attack a person you invited to a Party is like asking fellow Party comers to help you to expel the Invitee.

dick mboko - 10 June 2014

Ko Mugabe haasi kumbotaura nezve economy why?

Chakachaya - 10 June 2014

Mugabe is revealing his true colors. He's devious & ruthless in dealing with critics. I'm convinced he has all along been harboring a grudge against Moyo and bid his time for an opportunity to strike. So he pretended to be forgiving when the latter made overtures to rejoin ZPF. Mugabe went on to make Moyo feel really cosy cosy patting himself on the back thinking he'd used his purported sharp intellect to weave his way into the confidence of his erstwhile nemesis. Now the trap has closed and poor Moyo is down and out. I don't see him rising again any time soon.

God Knows - 10 June 2014

It is Temba Mliswa who should be exposed and banned from the party for using the President's name in vain, lying and not following the ideology of the party! http://twitter/PaulPaulus13/status/464388764599620609 let's work together and help His Excellency President R.G.Mugabe stop CORRUPTION! He has enough on his plate to worry about? Together we can make a difference! Is it because Temba Peter Mliswa is part of the ZANU-PF faction that he is "Untouchable and above the law" as well as having "Friends" in high places? NO-ONE according to the NEW constitution is ABOVE the LAW! MLISWA'S British Parents cannot help him now. 3 R's for You! Re-pay Re-pent Re-sign God is watching! Corruption - 11 June 2014

Corruption - 11 June 2014

It is Temba Mliswa who should be exposed and banned from the party for using the President's name in vain, lying and not following the ideology of the party! http://twitter.com/PaulPaulus13/status/464388764599620609 let's work together and help His Excellency President R.G.Mugabe stop CORRUPTION! He has enough on his plate to worry about? Together we can make a difference! Is it because Temba Peter Mliswa is part of the ZANU-PF faction that he is "Untouchable and above the law" as well as having "Friends" in high places? NO-ONE according to the NEW constitution is ABOVE the LAW! MLISWA'S British Parents cannot help him now. 3 R's for You! Re-pay Re-pent Re-sign God is watching! Corruption - 11 June 2014

Corruption - 11 June 2014

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