Information Minister Speaks Against Sacking Of Herald Editor As Zanu-PF Factions Battle For Media Control


The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Service is reported to be split into two camps with one camp supporting President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other supporting Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

According to the weekly publication, The Zimbabwe Independent, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa and Permanent Secretary Ndavaningi Nick Mangagwana are pro-Mnangagwa and are working on replacing editors at Zimpapers owned publications, The Herald, The Chronicle, The Sunday News and The Sunday Mail with their own appointees. However, Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi is reported to be fighting in Vice President Chiwenga’s camp and is fighting against the dismissal of the editors.

Sources who spoke to the Independent said,

Monica Mutsvangwa, a Mnangagwa ally, wants Zimpapers to stop covering Chiwenga, but (presidential spokesman) George Charamba, a Chiwenga ally, is resisting. So a fight has erupted over Mutsvangwa and her permanent secretary Nick Mangwana’s bid to fire current editors seen as controlled by Charamba and doing Chiwenga’s bidding and replace them with their own appointees. A list of new editors has been drawn, but the issue has divided the Ministry of Information largely along the faultlines of the two factions

Writing on Twitter last night, Mutodi said

Those fighting Caesar Zvayi (Editor-In-Chief for The Herald) Zimpapers are not for the good of the Herald. Not for the good of ED government. We stand for meritocracy, not grudges, nepotism & proxy leadership.

Zanu-PF activist and former chairperson of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Communications Taskforce Acie Lumumba has claimed that there are two new factions forming in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

The ruling party has been stressing unity since the Generation 40 (G40) Faction was vanquished last year after a bruising fight to succeed former President Robert Mugabe.

According to Lumumba, who has made a name revealing previously unknown information, the ruling party is going to deny the existence of the two factions and present a picture of a united front until one faction gets crushed, similar to what happened in the succession battles between the G40 and (then) Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste Faction. Said Lumumba,

Less than a year after Mugabe was kicked out of power, Zanu PF has 2 new factions forming. We will deny this vehemently until one obliterates the other of course. One faction is captured by Queen Bee, the other is captured by legacy! Stay woke on these streets.

Former G40 kingpin Professor Jonathan Moyo who fled into exile after the fall of former President Robert Mugabe disputed that any new factions had been created saying that the factions had always been there. According to Moyo, the two factions which had been united in the fight against the G40 Faction are President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Team Lacoste and the military’s Cosleg faction. Said Moyo responding to Lumumba,

For the record, there are no two new post-coup factions. LACOSTE & COSLEG are not new. The #QueenBeeSaga does not change or create factions. It only exposes them in the context of the ongoing economic meltdown with specific reference to currency manipulation & fuel chicanery!

Cosleg is a combination of two military investments Comiex Congo and Osleg. Osleg is the commercial arm of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces whose full name is Operation Sovereign Legitimacy. According to the Daily News, the war veterans and other civilians who were part of the fight against Mugabe and the G40 feel that they are being sidelined with the military taking most of the power. In January, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (Znlwva), chairperson for Mashonaland Central, Sam Parirenyatwa said

There is a strong feeling among war veterans that their contributions in removing Mugabe were not rewarded. Yes, we are being sidelined. Those who were benefiting under the Mugabe regime are the same people who are benefiting now…

Right now, there are efforts to engage government. In fact, there are calls for a war veterans’ indaba so that we reflect (on these developments). We did not get into party structures. For instance, in Mashonaland Central, all the positions were given to bystanders. We also lost the commissariat post to the military.

More: The Zimbabwe Independent