HARARE – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa says President Robert Mugabe has no reason to ever fear a coup against him — blaming Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo for raising false alarms in his alleged desperate bid to destabilise the country’s security sector.
By Fungi Kwaramba
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that this was contained in Mnangagwa’s combative dossier against Moyo which he presented to a tense Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday — after the Tsholotsho North legislator had earlier alleged that the embattled VP had captured key State institutions, including the military, in his bid to succeed Mugabe.
It also emerged yesterday that Mnangagwa had reminded Mugabe in the explosive gathering on Wednesday that when most Zanu PF officials had accepted the nonagenarian’s stunning defeat to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the hotly-disputed 2008 polls, it was him and the country’s securocrats who had rescued him and the ruling party from being dethroned from power.
“ED described the relationship between Zanu PF and the army as ‘unbreakable’, Mnangagwa — revealing that Moyo had falsely stated in a July 2016 letter to …Mugabe that a coup was being mooted against him by army generals.
“Your Excellency, on July 5, 2016, and while you were out of the country … Moyo concocted a story that his cousin, Major Nkosana Moyo, who is with the Presidential Guard, informed you of a planned coup by the army to install me as the country’s new leader.
“Moyo specifically cited General Sanyatwe as the brains behind the coup d’état. The sad thing is that … Moyo wants to destabilise the army that is central to the protection of the nation. It is a fact that he wrote a letter to that effect, peddling these allegations.
“What has changed since then? Why should people believe your coup claims now when you (Moyo) have lied about that before? It is a fact that Moyo is bragging that he has managed to instil fear in the First Family over the alleged coup issue,” Mnangagwa is reported saying by the sources.
A fortnight ago when powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe had a public go at Mnangagwa, she accused some army elements of plotting a coup — in what analysts said betrayed the deep mistrust within the warring Zanu PF and lingering uneasiness about the loyalty of military commanders within the G40 faction.
Our sources said Mnangagwa proceeded on Wednesday to claim that Moyo’s plan was allegedly to ensure that people with liberation war credentials in the security sector were all flushed out and replaced with G40 toadies.
“Their plan has revolved around systematically targeting the war veteran element within and without the military establishment, since they are aware of the unbreakable bond between the Defence Forces and Zanu PF.
“The very people who stood by the president since the liberation war days are the ones now being accused of orchestrating a coup d’état against the very person they have loyally served for over four decades.
“Your Excellency and fellow politburo members, this is the same Moyo who was attacking the generals and the rest of the security sector for their role, including campaigning for the 27 June 2008 presidential election run-off,” Mnangagwa is reported saying.
In the disputed polls of that year, Tsvangirai was said to have beaten Mugabe hands down by sacked former Zanu PF bigwigs.
However, the results of the elections were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities, amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud which were later revealed by the former ruling party bigwigs.
Mugabe’s defeat was widely blamed on an internal rebellion which was said to have been led by officials loyal to former vice president Joice Mujuru and her late husband Solomon — a plot that came to be known as Bhora Musango.
In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in a murderous orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters were killed in cold blood, forcing the former prime minister in the inclusive government to withdraw from the discredited race altogether.
Mugabe went on to stand in a widely-condemned one-man race in which he declared himself the winner.
However, Sadc and the rest of the international community would have none of it, forcing the nonagenarian to share power with Tsvangirai for five years, to prevent the country from imploding completely.
“Now he (Moyo) pretends to be the chief loyalist, leading the charge against senior defence force officers, who he berated for sustaining Zanu PF rule.
“What is it that these loyal cadres have done to be pushed out of the defence forces when they have sacrificed their lives to protect Zimbabwe?” Mnangagwa is reported saying further.
Zanu PF is currently divided in the middle, with a camp opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe — the G40 faction — involved in a life-and-death tussle with Team Lacoste.
Mugabe has consistently refused to name a successor, arguing that it is Zanu PF that must decide this issue through a congress when the time comes.
Of late, the name of reclusive Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, has also been thrown into the hat, although the veteran politician who has served in Mugabe’s Cabinet since independence in 1980 has refused to be drawn into the succession debate.
The party’s infighting took an ominous turn in August when Mnangagwa fell sick during an interface rally in Gwanda, which his backers said was a poison attack by his G40 enemies.
Mnangagwa was later airlifted to South Africa where he had emergency surgery.
He subsequently issued a statement denying that his illness was caused by ice cream from the first family’s Gushungo Dairies, although he has consistently suggested that he was poisoned.
Recently, Mnangagwa again suggested to hordes of his supporters who had converged at Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu, for the late Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa’s memorial service, that he was poisoned in the same way Mahofa was in 2015.
Mahofa, one of Mnangagwa’s fiercest allies, left the Zanu PF conference in Victoria Falls in 2015 wheelchair-bound, amid suspicions that she had been poisoned by her party foes.
She later spent two months recuperating in a South African hospital, before she resurfaced in March 2016.
Days after Mnangagwa’s address in Masvingo, his colleague Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko issued a scathing statement in which he attacked him for allegedly trying to divide the country and to undermine Mugabe.
Last Monday, Mugabe fired and demoted several ministers perceived to be sympathetic to Mnangagwa, in a reshuffle which analysts said was motivated by the desire to contain the Midlands godfather’s control and influence of key government ministries. – Daily News