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Zimbabwe Power Shift: The tale of the three Moyos

Professor Jonathan Moyo, centre, flanked by Dr Ibbo Mandaza, right, and Professor Heneri Dzinotyiweyi answer questions during a debate in Johannesburg. File picture: Bonile Bam
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HARARE – The squabbling in Zanu PF which culminated in the takeover of government by the army nearly a fortnight ago has become a tale of the three Moyos — Jonathan, Simon Khaya and Sibusiso.

At the centre of the Zanu PF fighting was Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo, who was accused of being the kingpin of a Zanu PF faction known as the Generation 40 (G40), which was rabidly opposed to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendency to the presidency.

The ruling party was embroiled in serious factional fights, with parties aimed at taking over from former president Robert Mugabe, who has since resigned.

But the dramatic turn of events has been played with the involvement of the Moyos from different ends — Jonathan Moyo, Zanu PF national secretary for information and publicity Simon Khaya Moyo and Major General Sibusiso Moyo from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

Jonathan Moyo is said to have played a role in the firing of Mnangagwa from both party and government as VP, through his influence and proximity to the first family, while the sacking of ED was announced by Khaya Moyo and on the other hand, Sibusiso announced the army intervention.

Simon Khaya Moyo
Simon Khaya Moyo

According to Khaya Moyo, who is also the Information minister, announcing Mnangagwa’s sacking, he said the then VP, who is now the country’s president was exhibiting traits of “disloyalty”, even though he claimed to be “loyal” to Mugabe.

He said as a result, and in accordance with the national charter, amendment number 28, of 2013, Mugabe had exercised his powers to relieve Mnangagwa of his position with immediate effect.

“It had become evident that his conduct in the discharge of his duties had become inconsistent with his responsibilities. The vice president had consistently and persistently exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect, deceitfulness and unreliability. He has also demonstrated little probity in the execution of his duties,” Khaya Moyo said.

This dismissal resulted in Mnangagwa going into exile, where he issued a hard-hitting statement, promising that he would fight tooth and nail and take over power in a few weeks.

“I will go nowhere. I will fight tooth and nail against those making a mockery of Zanu PF’s founding principles, ethos and values.

“You (Mugabe) and your cohorts will, instead, leave Zanu PF by the will of the people and this, we will do in the coming few weeks as Zimbabweans in general now require new and progressive leadership that is not resident in the past and refuses to accept change,” the statement reads.

After this statement, army boss Constantino Chiwenga, fresh from a visit to China, gave a chilling warning against Zanu PF and Mugabe, over the continued purging of party members with war credentials.

What then followed was an army takeover of the government, claiming they wanted to take down criminals that surrounded Mugabe.

The announcement on State television was made by another Moyo, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, during the wee hours of November 15, 2017.

Major General Sibusiso Moyo

Major General Sibusiso Moyo

“Firstly, we wish to assure the nation that His Excellency, The President, of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces…Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.

“As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy,” Moyo said.

This was not the end, as Khaya Moyo was to later reappear, following the dramatic turn of events, this time announcing the sacking of Mugabe from the party.

“The central committee resolved that…Mugabe should resign forthwith from his position as president and head of State and government and if a resignation has not been tendered by 12 midday tomorrow(today) , the Zanu PF chief whip is instructed to initiate proceedings for the recall of the president in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” Khaya Moyo said, announcing Mugabe’s sacking.

“It was resolved that…Mnangagwa be appointed interim president pending ratification by the extraordinary congress scheduled for December . . . the extraordinary congress should proceed for the purpose of ratifying the decision we have taken this afternoon.”

The events that took place were dramatic, and fluid, resulting in fast changes that many never saw coming.

Mnangagwa has since been sworn in as the country’s president at an inauguration ceremony held last Friday at the National Sports Stadium. – Daily News