Moyo accuses Charamba of 'bootlicking idiocy'

HARARE - Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo — who is in self-imposed exile — has hit back at Media, Information and Broadcasting Services ministry permanent secretary George Charamba after the presidential spokesperson lifted the lid on the real brains behind a legacy institution for former president, Robert Mugabe.

Charamba told the Daily News in an exclusive interview last week that contrary to widespread belief that the idea of building a university for Mugabe was conceptualised by Moyo, it was actually President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as the then vice president, who came up with the idea before it was stolen by G40.

George Charamba

George Charamba

But writing on his Twitter account, Moyo said the idea for the legacy institution was actually brought up by former minister of Finance Ignatius Chombo with the plans being drawn by Mugabe’s nephew Albert Mugabe.

“The claim that the RGM University is a Mnangagwa idea is bootlicking idiocy. It was first initiated by the Mugabe family itself led by Amai Dr Mugabe and assisted by Dr Chombo. First designs were done by Albert Mugabe,” said Moyo.

In the interview, Charamba said one of the reasons why relations between Mnangagwa and Grace deteriorated so much that they were hardly on talking terms, was because of the capture of the then first lady by the G40 faction.

Apart from stealing the legacy university concept, the G40 faction also allegedly took over the writing of Mugabe’s biography from historian Phyllis Johnson something that Moyo also denied.

“The fiction that the writing of ... Mugabe’s biography was given to me is news not only to me but also to many who are in the know, including one Vice Chancellor and one Pro Vice Chancellor. What’s certain is that Phyllis Johnson was not & is not qualified for the task,” Moyo said.

The presidential spokesperson revealed how Grace and her allies gate-crashed into the writing of Mugabe’s biography.

He said following the death of former Information minister Nathan Shamuyarira in June 2014, a decision was made to resuscitate the writing of Mugabe’s biography under the management of historian, Johnson.

“Then one fateful day that project was rudely taken from her, and I use the word rudely advisably. You should have seen the poor woman, she just got a sharp plain instruction kuti dzosa (bring back), and who was going to do that it was again Jonathan,” said Charamba.

He said these incidents gave him the impression that Mugabe’s legacy had morphed from being the business of Zanu PF to that of a few individuals around his wife, Grace.

He said Mugabe had become a captive of the G40 faction now scattered across the world in the wake of his fall.

“So looking at these seemingly unrelated matters, I got a distinct impression that the then president’s legacy had ceased to be a matter for his party, Zanu PF but for preferred members working with the first family — it was a family affair,” he said.

“If you consider that vakuru  (Mugabe) had picked Shamuyarira (to write the biography), you notice it was not just a choice based on his attributes but it was a gesture of symbolically surrendering his life and legacy to the party he had served and led, after all his life and legacy was to a large measure the life and legacy of the party, which is why it could only be written by the spokesperson of the party in the form of Shamuyarira. This was a classical case where competence and loyalty coincided,” said Charamba.

He said instead of talk about a life well lived, there were in fact talking about how that life was being misappropriated for a future political project — changing from retrospective to being prospective.