HARARE - A defiant Higher and Tertiary Education minister, Jonathan Moyo, has vowed to continue using social media despite efforts by his Zanu PF enemies to silence him.
Were Moyo’s Zanu PF detractors to get their way, this would benefit the party faction behind embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential ambitions.
In a terse response to one of his Twitter followers yesterday, who had asked him when he was going to close his account as per the demands of some of his colleagues in the party, Moyo said, “Never ever. Kana zvikadii (no matter what)!”
And as if to drive home his resolve, the sharp-tongued Tsholotsho North legislator added that he had little that he still had to learn in the ruling party.
“I learnt that lesson in 2004. Nothing new. I’m a veteran!,” he twitted as his followers asked him about his views about the current scathing attacks that State media are launching at him.
Stung by Moyo’s witty and sometimes pithy postings on social media, Mnangagwa’s allies, who appear to lack the skills and capacity to fight back using the same platforms, have been attacking him left, right and centre using government newspapers and the ZBC.
Top Zanu PF officials, including hawkish Information permanent secretary George Charamba, have thrown missile after missile at him seemingly without success — and are now agitating for his ouster from both his party and government positions.
On his part, Moyo has left little to the imagination that he believes that Charamba and the likes of War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa are pushing a factional agenda in support of Mnangagwa, when the party should be rallying behind the leadership of President Robert Mugabe.
“Mutsvangwa thinks he can do to some of us what he did to (former Vice President) Joice Mujuru with Charamba’s & Herald help. Handei tione (bring it on)!” Moyo thundered in one of his many caustic retorts.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was quoted in State media this week saying the next politburo meeting, set for Wednesday next week, would tackle social media abuse by senior party members.
Party secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, who is linked to the Mnangagwa faction in the worsening war to succeed Mugabe, has also wadded into the issue, saying the party only had one spokesperson, a message widely interpreted as targeted at Moyo.
On Wednesday Moyo sensationally branded Mutsvangwa a “petticoat thief” during Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence.
This came after Mutsvangwa, said to be a strong Mnangagwa ally, accused Moyo of having run away from the struggle, while also alleging that the Higher Education minister was bitter that his “traitor uncle” Ndabaningi Sithole — the founding president of Zanu — had been overthrown from the leadership of the party.
But even without access to State media, Moyo has found social media a rich platform to attack and respond to his foes, with great effect.