Grace Mugabe 'blocks' July Moyo's rise

HARARE - As Zanu PF’s ugly factional and succession wars continue unabated, President Robert Mugabe’s increasingly influential wife, Grace, apparently vetoed efforts by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to get the ruling party’s deputy secretary for administration, July Moyo, appointed as a minister of State in the VP’s office.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that Grace, in line with what has been happening in Zanu PF and in government since late last year, flexed her considerable political muscles, forcing her frail nonagenarian husband to appoint little-known Clifford Sibanda instead to be minister in Mnangagwa’s office.

A long time ally of Mnangagwa, Moyo is seen as one of the key strategists behind Mnangagwa’s rising political stock, and had for weeks ahead of the superfluous Cabinet additions been tipped to become a minister again — this time, in the Midlands godfather’s office.

But the controversial Grace — who has been reported to have had fierce run-ins with Mnangagwa in recent weeks over Mugabe’s succession, and who has openly boasted of instructing the country’s two VPs about what to do in their State duties — is said to have held sway over the appointment process.

One of the sources who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday said the First Lady’s “unwelcome intervention” in the matter had allegedly left Mnangagwa “apoplectic” with anger, amid claims to the effect that this went against “both protocol and tradition” as former Vice President Joice Mujuru had allegedly always been allowed to choose who she worked with.

“Mnangagwa is bitter and very angry. He realises that while he is a favourite to replace Mugabe, he still has a lot of hurdles in front of him, with the biggest one being Dr Amai, who herself also wants the top post.

“As of early last week, Ngwena (Mnangagwa) had convinced Mugabe that July (Moyo) was his preferred choice for minister in his office, but he was shocked when someone else was appointed.

“Naturally, the fingers pointed to Grace as the one who had instigated the rejection of July when the president had agreed to this. What is clear is that Grace has lots of influence and power because July himself had even told close associates that he was going to be appointed minister.

“Mnangagwa’s anger also stems from the fact that Mai Mujuru worked with her choice of ministers,” the source said.

Insiders say Moyo is regularly spotted at hotels in Harare, holding meetings with different people associated with the Mnangagwa camp. On Thursday evening, when he was expecting to be appointed minister, Moyo was spotted in what were described as “crunch meetings” at a hotel near the Zanu PF headquarters.

“July Moyo is Mnangagwa’s pillar and since his godfather was appointed vice president, he has been running around the country canvassing support for Mnangagwa, who is a very hard sell both inside Zanu PF and outside. He is seen at most top hotel foyers holding a series of meetings. He is Mnangagwa’s runner,” a senior Zanu PF official opposed to the VP said.

Repeated efforts to obtain comments from both Moyo, a former Midlands governor, and Mnangagwa, did not bear fruits yesterday.

Besides Mugabe’s appointment of Sibanda, the nonagenarian also promoted Tabetha Kanengoni Malinga, formerly the deputy minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, to the position of minister of State in Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s office.

In a statement last week, the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, said the appointments were with immediate effect.

Moyo bounced back into mainstream politics last year having languished in the doldrums for more than a decade following his suspension from Zanu PF at the height of the infamous and so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in 2004, which allegedly not only sought to block the nomination of Mujuru as vice president, but was also aimed at ousting Mugabe from power.

He was at the time one of six provincial chairmen who were ruthlessly purged from their positions after the alleged palace coup attempt.

Another Zanu PF official also said yesterday that Moyo’s snub had bitterly upset the Mnangagwa faction which had hoped to see more of their team members represented in top positions in government ahead of the 2018 national elections.

The official speculated that Mnangagwa’s recent ill-advised comments in an interview with the London-based New African magazine may have exacerbated the disaffection between him and Grace.

The ruling party was engulfed in a divisive debate after Mnangagwa inadvertently intimated that Mugabe would soon leave high office.

Answering a seemingly innocuous New African question on the post-Mugabe scenario, Mnangagwa said, “We shall miss him (Mugabe) dearly (when he leaves). He is an outstanding leader and human being” — in comments that placed him in the eye of a humongous storm in the ruling party which is wracked by deadly factional and succession wars.

Mnangagwa’s remarks on the post-Mugabe future were publicly criticised by the Minister of Higher Education, Jonathan Moyo, on Twitter — who went on to say the sentiments were “premature”.

The Higher Education minister is said to be a key member of the General 40 (G40) faction — a small but vociferous group of ambitious Young Turks who are said to have roped in the First Lady and Mphoko to their faction as they allegedly plot to derail Mnangagwa’s leadership ambitions.

While Mnangagwa is touted as Mugabe’s most likely successor at the moment, the accusation that he allegedly masterminded the army’s slaughter of an estimated 20 000 innocent civilians in Matabeleland in the early 1980s, when he was State Security minister, has badly hurt his national standing.

Comments (34)

Mnangagwa did not mastermind anybody's slaughter. When rebels took up arms against the government, the army responded. Unfortunately, some battles were fought in urban areas, thereby causing many deaths. The fire that caught these innocent people came from both the rebels and the army. Of cause some members of the army, police, CIO and also the rebels went overboard and killed innocent civilians where this could have been avoided. The commanders of these people are still alive and can be asked about this. Only one committed suicide. Don't bother Ngwena.

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

If what is said in this article is true then Mai Grace needs to be reigned in and taught a lesson or two about poking her nose into other people's business and the consequences of it. This first lady is really creating huge enemies not just in the Mnangagwa camp but everywhere. People now scorn and mock her everywhere and if she thinks and believes that she is in line to take over the leadership of this country then she must be hallucinating? She is the one who has caused so much trouble within a once united and strong party.

Abdul - 7 September 2015

Machakachaka I wated to insult you by your mother but I feared being spammed and my point would not have been heard. There was no fighting that took place but a massacre of innocent people under the guise of looking for less than 200 dissidents you son of a bitch.

Mutirowafanza - 7 September 2015

Mutirowafanza. You are still my fellow Zimbabwean, even if you insult me. But that is the problem we have in Zimbabwe, where some people want the story told ONLY from their point of view, and NEVER to base a story on facts or to consider and discuss other points of view. I understand your type. I am not angry because I am not one of those people who read about the Matabeleland tragedy in only recent newspaper stories.

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

Kkkkkkk vana July!!

Wenduru - 7 September 2015

zvichazviita zvoga mwari ada kkkk

murakwani - 7 September 2015

Since Ngwena is an appointee, he is serving @ the pleasure of the principal, so does his subodinates, @ the mercy of same chef. To give Ngwena such powers will create another centre of power.

EL-DODO - 7 September 2015

Give us the facts Machakachaka. May be we can learn one or two things

Lagos - 7 September 2015

Since Ngwena is an appointee, he is serving @ the pleasure of the principal, so does his subodinates, @ the mercy of same chef. To give Ngwena such powers will create another centre of power.

EL-DODO - 7 September 2015

Machakachaka, thank you for that new angle and dimension you are showing, please may you give us an account of what really transpired, because you seem to have first hand information. Some of us were stil toddlers when that happened so we make our judgements based on what we hear and read. Thanks

dhara - 7 September 2015

Dhara and Lagos, thank you for your calm contributions. I may have to write a full article in one local paper because the story could be too long for this column. But the summary is; 1. it not true that the war was started by the army 2. it is true that rebels started the war 3. it is true that both the rebels and the army had overzealous groups which killed innocent people

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

Dhara and Lagos, thank you for your calm contributions. I may have to write a full article in one local paper because the story could be too long for this column. But the summary is; 1. it not true that the war was started by the army 2. it is true that rebels started the war 3. it is true that both the rebels and the army had overzealous groups which killed innocent people

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

@machakachaka.....I can see you are also posting as dhara and Lagos.

misty - 7 September 2015

Misty, I am too smart to pretend to be who I am not. If you follow my posts, you will see that I sometimes stand on my own, despite a barrage of criticism and even insults. I never try to be someone else. To me it's fraud. I would rather be criticized by a million people than to pretend there are two people who support my point. Nevertheless, thank you for letting me know that some of you argue with yourselves or support yourselves in order to appear supported. But I am different, mate, I don't want to pretend to be supported. I will stick to my point until proven wrong.

machakachaka - 7 September 2015

@Machakachaka the way you are hallucinating here I have no doubt you came out of ISIKHUMBA.around the 80s or 90s then went to Border Gezi where your brain was pumped full of zanu shiit .If you have nothing to say its wise to shut up your smelly beak .Where were you when Munangagwa planted arms catch near the farms which were owned by zipra forces which he used as a scapegoat to slaughter innocent and unarmed people .You were in you father scrotum a gukurahundi himself all what you are shiiting here he lied to you about it . No sane govt can go into a killing spree of 20 000 citizen bcoz of 115 unhappy armed men . After all now you see why those guys wanted to remove Mugabe earlier than now.They were together with him in the bush they knew he was not a leader hence they wanted to get rid of him fast . Your gukurahundi father is missing leading you and you must not take him serious he is liar.

Diibulaanyika - 7 September 2015

this machaka cio can not teach anyone about the death of my people . ndebeles were killed by mugabe . fullstop. so pliz stop ambarrasing yourself by denying something which your god mugabe confessed to , mayb u didnt hear "moment of madness" so fuck u and go to hell. personally i think uri ngochani

machakachaka ihoro - 8 September 2015

Diibulaanyika, there were 3000 dissidents, not 115. 116 is the number that surrendered in 1987. The others were either killed or captured. If you doubt that both the army and the dissidents were responsible for unnecessary death, you can do you research and ask Prisons for a little information. They will prove to you that at the end of the hostilities in 1987, an amnesty was declared, and murderers from the dissident side and from the security forces were released. As for me going to Border Gezi, I'm too old for that, the place came into existence well after I had passed 40. As I said, I am not one of those young fellows who get false stories from interested parties. I will not be dragged into believing a lie when I know it is a lie. All the same, thank you for letting me know about the existence of those Zimbabweans who have one track minds, and cannot tolerate different views.

machakachaka - 8 September 2015

We lost our loved ones during that 'moment of madness' and this bastard by the name Machakachaka continues to spew shit. He is a bloody Gukurahundi.

Mutirowafanza - 8 September 2015

We lost our loved ones during that 'moment of madness' and this bastard by the name Machakachaka continues to spew shit. He is a bloody Gukurahundi.

Mutirowafanza - 8 September 2015

Mutirowafanza, I also lost a relative when former ZIPRA combatants murdered 36 former ZANLA combatants in their sleep at Connemara. I am tired of this one sided story which happens to be a lie. Why do you bash one side and exonerate the other equally guilty side?

machakachaka - 8 September 2015

Countrymen we have crucial issues to dwell on.Where can we go if we allow the past to haunt us?It time we just build bridges and not just harbour grudges because that will not change anything.Moreover Cde Ngwena was part of the government and not the government,so accusing him is irrational as whatever happened it was a collective sort of action.Even if we talk about it often it does not materialize into anything good but only learning from our mistakes as one people and we go ahead together can only build our nation for our common good.Lets to be people burnt on hate and ,vengeance.The way some of our fellow countrymen speak of Shona speaking part and Ndebele speaking part is just damaging.The Musvina and the Mudzviti terms still exist in some vocabularly of some of our countrymen.That is worse than fascism.That has to be addressed not only at government level but all facets of our community like the church,schools,work among others.Lets just do everything together but first and foremost with Zim at heart.Zim should always be above all i.e our ethnicity,race,religion,political colours and so forth.When we speak the same language then we can recognize lessons we can draw from our history,we can see the strength that comes from togetherness and the peace and stability we shall have for good

carson macate - 8 September 2015

Machakachaka whatever that name means dont insult the Ndebele tribe by opening old wounds. Pls be informed Gukurahundi was preplanned by ZANU PF and the West whom u now hate today. U just wanted to get rid of us completely and our resolute leader DR J.M.N Nkomo. Pls stop opening old wounds we are not stupid

Ronald - 8 September 2015

when the dust has settled, the truth will come out. there are living heroes who will tell it all. let them defend the well known murderers but what goes around comes around........... .Amen !!! Asikhohlwanga.

zanu yeropa - 8 September 2015

If it is true then Dr Amai is a strategist because the combination of Moyo and Mnangagwa is a deadly one

DreyMupind - 8 September 2015

comrades, a lot happened in the history of the beloved nation of Zimbabwe and I hope we all conversant to that. The Mfcane era, Gukurahundi etc is but water under the bridge at this stage if Zimbabwe is to accommodate all tribes in this country, Ndebele and Shona are not the only tribes we have in this country cdes. Kalangas, tongas, ndaus etc are equally members of the society and deserve more of progress than this fighting we see from those who think have had a bitter share of this history. Together Everyone Achieves More........T.E.A.M

simon phoenix - 8 September 2015

MamboCraig - 8 September 2015

@Machakachaka you have too much knowledge of the civil war tell me one security officer who was arrested and given amnesty. If you were really old as you claim to have been can you tell people or me in particular of how the civil war started as you read from the different papers. There were commissions that were appointed by RGM what happened to them, why were they not released for us to know what happened? Why is RGM saying it was a moment of madness without mentioning who was made? I was old and saw what happened with my own eyes not reading about it in papers and the truth you only mentioned is that it was a war. You left out that it was a tribal war.

Qawe laMaqawe - 8 September 2015

Anyone in my shoes could hjave done the same , shandisa mukana

Dr Amai pamberi - 9 September 2015

Our relatives were not combatants you fool. They were simple villagers who did not know anything about firing guns. Yours were military people and you know what? In military terms you kill or get killed. Can the same be said about defenceless villagers?

Mutirowafanza - 9 September 2015

Unless and until perpetrators of that tribal cleansing come out in the open and show remorse one day this thing will explode in some people's faces and numerical superiority wont be an issue.

Gayigusu - 9 September 2015

The issue here is if someone responses to the machakachaka issue with emotions then that particular person is tribalistic coz emotions are not facts table the not emotions . For someone being a ndebele to say i witnessed the massacre and say it was a tribal issue when that particular person is alive then its a lie why were u not killed if it were a tribal war ? To hell with such tribal sentiments . Where were u when they planned to carry out the massacre u Diibulanyika ?

sikirigava - 10 September 2015

Something triggered this brutal war though one may be tempted to assume that it was a continuation of the pre-independence war. Enos Nkala was Ndebele I think but is constantly mentioned as was against ZAPU. Further I think Muchakachaka also read the report by the CCJPZ. The report looks balanced. The Chihambakwe Commission Report was not made public of course but the CCJPZ report summarises atrocities suffered by the people in Matabeleland and Midlands. In my view the dissidents as few as they might had been, they were also equally dangerous and remember RGM's residence was once attacked whereas that is attributed to SA's apartheid government de-stabilising agenda like they did in Angola and Mozambique etc. I think Zimbabwe needs healing and its a processes that must be started otherwise it will vent one of these days. People were buried in mass graves, raped and killed by both the national 5 brigade army, PISI, CIO etc but a nation had to defend itself also. Otherwise one could have died either the pro-dissidents or those who were defended by the national security hence the statement it was a moment of madness.

ribonga - 11 September 2015

ZAPU is responsible for what happened in Matebeleland. we all know it.

Gavarari - 19 October 2015

ZAPU is responsible for what happened in Matebeleland. we all know it.

Gavarari - 19 October 2015

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