HARARE - Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday slammed belligerent Information permanent secretary George Charamba on ZiFM Stereo, after the commercial radio station that is owned by ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira granted him a right of reply to Charamba’s invective of last week.
In the explosive interview, Moyo panned Charamba roundly, suggesting that his former aide was overstepping his mandate as President Robert Mugabe’s press secretary.
Yesterday’s interview came after ZiFM Stereo pulled out of an earlier interview that it had granted Moyo to discuss a government scholarship programme in which the State plans to pay full school and boarding fees for all students in public schools who register for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects this year.
Stem is being promoted as a key part of Zimbabwe’s long-term human capital development project.
The irate Moyo suggested then that political machinations had been behind the station’s last-minute decision to decline to host him after it aired Charamba’s controversial interview last week, in which the presidential spokesperson denigrated Moyo and other perceived opponents of embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
ZiFM Stereo strongly denied that it had “blacked out” Moyo, leading to the station interviewing him yesterday.
Moyo refuted Charamba’s claims that he had used his interview with the station last week to communicate Mugabe’s deep-seated concerns about Zanu PF factionalism.
“There is a certain decorum associated with the office of the president. He (Charamba) was angry, as if someone had snatched his girlfriend or owed him money,” the sharp-tongued Moyo said, criticising Charamba’s tone in his interview.
The clash between Moyo and Charamba comes as the ruling Zanu PF’s factional and succession wars are getting nastier and more confused by the day, amid growing frustration by the party’s Young Turks known as the Generation 40 group — who are opposed to Mnangagwa — that they are being blacked out by State media and other mass media outlets linked to senior party officials.