HARARE – Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo on Sunday sparked backlash after he appeared to accuse Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa of being HIV positive.
Moyo who is engaged in bitter political feud with the embattled Vice President referred to his poisoning vomiting in Gwanda as possibly caused by Antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV infection a comment that did not go down well with many of his followers resulting in an unprecedented backlash.
Although Professor Moyo assisted by his aids tried in vein to explain out of trouble, this did not stop members of the public to pour torrent of anger and abuse calling the foul-mouthed cabinet minister to order.
As the debate raged-on, Moyo was quickly reminded on twitter by one of his followers that one of his daughter collects ARVs at an HIV/AIDs clinic at Newlands, Highlands in Harare.
Not with the most kind of words of reaction as expected was Vice President Mnangagwa’s sidekick and Member of Parliament (MP) of the Gokwe-Nembudziya Justice Wadyajena who accused Moyo of rapping and murdering his daughter in South Africa.
In 2015, Moyo’s 20-year-old daughter Zanele Naledi Ntombizodwa who was studying in South Africa was found dead in her room and the mystery around her death died a natural death.
Tensions are rising in Zanu PF over the succession battle to succeed President Mugabe and longtime heir apparent favourate Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has fallen out with the longtime ruler and his faction of Team Lacoste is engaged in bitter rivalry with G40 led by First Lady Grace Mugabe who has Professor Jonathan Moyo as her chief strategist and assisted by part political Commissar and Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Vice President Mnangagwa and Moyo’s bitter rivalry stems from the 2004 “Tsholotsho Declaration” that saw the latter being expelled from Zanu-PF, President Mugabe has said.
The so-called Tsholotsho Declaration was an attempt to elevate the then Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration, Mnangagwa, under the orchestration of a clique said to be working at his behest. That failed plan saw Prof Moyo and several other ruling party officials being either expelled or suspended from Zanu-PF.
Mnangagwa survived that purge and went on to become VP of the party and the republic, and President Mugabe yesterday intimated that this outcome could be behind the bad blood between Zanu-PF’s Second Secretary and Prof Moyo.
Prof Moyo has since declared that he will never support VP Mnangagwa’s perceived bid for the State and Zanu-PF number one job — something President Mugabe said the minister had made clear in the aftermath of the Tsholotsho Declaration. The ruling party’s President and First Secretary said this at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura, Mashonaland Central, last month at the eighth Presidential Youth Interface Meeting.