HARARE – Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has broken his silence on the damaging claims that he forced legendary broadcaster Godfrey Majonga to jump from a high-rise apartment in Harare 30 years ago, after he allegedly caught him with a woman said to have been romantically-linked with the under-fire VP.
By Fungi Kwaramba
Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that the 75-year-old VP had vehemently denied in a hard-hitting presentation to the Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday that he had harmed Majonga — insisting instead that, to the contrary, he was a friend of Majonga and that he was in fact one of the few people who had helped the broadcaster at the time of the alleged incident.
However, the sources said, Mnangagwa had declined to delve into the matter, and skipped reading the parts which related to the Majonga saga, citing the recent $3 million lawsuit that he had launched against Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo in connection with the allegations.
Moyo, they said, had wanted the VP to first withdraw his lawsuit before he could present his responses but Mnangagwa offered not to mention Majonga in his presentation to the politburo.
“This false allegation of serious criminal conduct, which is defamatory, both by statute as well as civil law, will be the subject of a claim I am filing against … Moyo.
“To make such dramatic and sensational allegations against me is totally unacceptable, and with respect, reprehensible … bringing pain to not just myself and my family, but no doubt to Godfrey Majonga and his family as well,” Mnangagwa revealed in his document.
“I know … Majonga personally, and as a matter of fact, following his accident in 1988, I was part of the establishment that facilitated his assistance. Where was … Moyo at the time?
“Your Excellency, Godfrey Majonga and people close to the events, have not been brought to the politburo. For such a sensitive matter to be brought up in such a scurrilous and reckless manner by someone who is supposed to be a responsible senior member of the party and government …
“The dramatic impact and effect of the hearsay evidence of … Moyo could not be demonstrated more so by this case. Its probative value is zero,” the VP added.
In sensational claims in a July 19 politburo presentation in Harare, Moyo accused Mnangagwa then of being ruthless and of having forced Majonga to jump from the third floor of an apartment in the capital, after the two men had allegedly clashed over a woman.
Speaking later, at a Zanu PF rally in Bindura last month, President Robert Mugabe stunningly revealed to thousands of his supporters how Moyo had told the politburo of the alleged confrontation between Mnangagwa and Majonga over a woman, which allegedly ended up with Majonga jumping from a high-rise apartment — resulting in him being disabled for life.
“Hameno kana zvirizvo (we don’t know if this is true). Mnangagwa denies it. He says he doesn’t know any of it. He (Moyo) made that claim among others,” Mugabe said then, adding that Mnangagwa had since also prepared his own dossier against Moyo.
“Mnangagwa said fine ‘I will reply him.’ He told me the other day that he has some 85 pages of reply. But because of the state of his health, he can only stand and talk, perhaps not more than 15 minutes or so.
“But when he gets fit he will reply him. These are the other issues that cause us discomfort in the party — personal differences, attacks and ambitions that we want to end,” Mugabe said.
Mnangagwa duly responded in kind on Wednesday after he had recovered from the alleged poisoning that he suffered in Gwanda two months ago, which saw him being airlifted to South Africa where he had emergency surgery.
In the aftermath of Mugabe’s address in Bindura, Majonga also broke his three-decade silence on the matter while refusing to confirm Moyo’s allegations.
“Handina chekutaura, madii kuvabvunza ivo? Handina kuzvinzwa ndanga ndiri kufuneral. (I have nothing to say, why don’t you ask the people making the allegations? Besides, I didn’t hear what the president said, I was attending a funeral),” Majonga told the Daily News.
Mnangagwa has been at the receiving end of savage attacks by Moyo and other alleged G40 kingpins in the on-going Zanu PF succession wars, which have seen the VP’s enemies turning up the heat on Mugabe’s longtime aide in recent weeks.
Powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe publicly humiliated Mnangagwa at a recent Zanu PF youth league gathering in Harare, making a number of serious accusations against the Midlands godfather whose long association with both Mugabe and Zanu PF have been put into sharp focus in the wake of the renewed onslaught against him.
The party’s infighting took an ominous turn in August when Mnangagwa fell sick during a Zanu PF rally in Gwanda, with his backers saying he had been poisoned by his G40 rivals.
Mnangagwa was later airlifted to South Africa where he was operated on.
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 — who was acting president at the time — issued a scathing statement in which he attacked him for allegedly trying to divide the country and to undermine Mugabe.
On 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