Zanu PF’s brutal tribal, factional and succession wars escalated yesterday when the party’s youth league waded into the graft storm surrounding Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo (pictured) — launching a fierce attack on the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), the ministry of Information and State media.
In a scathing statement, youth league leader Kudzanai Chipanga virtually accused Zacc, the Information ministry and State media of working against President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, after the anti-graft statutory body attempted to arrest Moyo last week over damaging allegations of fraud and money laundering that have exposed the ruling party’s abuse of State resources.
The miffed Chipanga, while shying away from addressing claims that he had received 100 000 litres of fuel from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), as has been revealed by Moyo, savaged Zacc for allegedly being driven by a factional agenda in its pursuit of the graft claims.
And in a further blistering tirade that is set to raise temperatures to stratospheric levels in the warring Zanu PF, he also charged that Zacc particularly wanted to sabotage the ruling party ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.
“We have realised that the idea is not to probe corruption but to scare the corporate world from sponsoring the youth league as well as other party activities by the same people who were anti the million-man march.
“These are the same people who were mobilising the then Christopher Mutsvangwa-led war veterans to block the march in solidarity with our president. These are the same people who through the ministry of Information and the State media were demonising us for embarking on the march.
“So seeing a whole anti-corruption body expending their energy dwelling on chiefs’ bicycles while ignoring the known people who looted $15 billon diamond money, we begin to wonder if it’s an anti-corruption body or anti-bicycles commission. We call upon Zacc to go hang and stop meddling in politics,” Chipanga thundered.
Moyo, Chipanga and the youth league are said to be members of a Zanu PF faction going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40) which is bitterly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe — while key players at Zacc, the ministry of Information and State media stand accused of being kingpins of Team Lacoste, the VP’s camp.
Moyo and his Higher Education deputy minister, Godfrey Gandawa, are facing serious fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office charges, including claims that the Zanu PF politburo member benefited from Zimdef donations that involved the purchase of bicycles which he donated to his Tsholotsho North constituency, which Zacc alleges was not above board.
The anti-corruption commission is claiming that Moyo, Gandawa and Zimdef chief executive Frederick Mandizvidza are at the centre of the alleged multiple corrupt and fraudulent activities running into hundreds of thousands of dollars — while Moyo has accused it of being used by Mnangagwa and Team Lacoste to fight him.
On Sunday, he launched a spirited defence of his decision to approve a request for the bicycles and three-wheeler motorbikes for community leaders in his constituency.
Speaking publicly for the first time about the multiple corruption and fraud charges that are being levelled against him, and which could see him arrested in the coming days, Moyo insisted in an interview with the Daily News that everything he had done was above board.
And in a thinly-disguised attack on Mnangagwa, whom he clearly believes is behind last week’s attempt by authorities to arrest him on charges of criminal abuse of office, Moyo also said he was “sick and tired of Gukurahundi politicians and their mouthpieces poking their dirty noses over what we can and cannot have in our communities as if we ever poke our noses into their communities”.
“Enough is enough. When we endeavour to use our elephants to develop the community, as we tried to do with the construction of the Tsholotsho Stadium, they block us.
“They also mock us and accuse us of abuse of office when we give our traditional leaders bicycles to enable them to co-ordinate STEM computers and related development projects in the community,” he fumed in remarks that expose Zanu PF’s deepening tribal, factional and succcession wars.
Only last week, the Daily News reported that the Zanu PF faction rallying behind Mnangagwa’s mooted presidential aspirations, which had for months been on the receiving end of a ruthless pummelling from its ruling party foes, had wrestled back the initiative in the former liberation movement’s seemingly unstoppable internal ructions.
Well-placed sources told the newspaper that Team Lacoste appeared to have weathered the storm in the ruling party’s brutal dog-fight to succeed Mugabe — with their nemesis, the G40, the one whose alleged kingpins were now under serious pressure.
“The struggle continues, and we (Lacoste camp) are still standing. In fact, we are going strong again. If you have been watching what’s going on in the past few weeks, you will also have seen that our enemies (G40) are now the ones who are on the back foot,” a senior Zanu PF official linked to the VP’s faction said.
At the same time, analysts and insiders told the Daily News then that Team Lacoste (a faction backing Mnangagwa) appeared well-positioned to pick up all the spoils in the event that Mugabe left office before the end of his term, ahead of the 2018 polls.
However, a Zanu PF bigwig who spoke to the newspaper expressed the fear that should such an eventuality happen, it would spawn political chaos in the country — although he was also quick to add that Team Lacoste would enjoy many advantages at that point.
“It’s true that it’s dog-eat-dog in Zanu PF right now because of that constitutional clause (which says the last acting president will temporarily take charge of the country).
“The aspect of the last acting president taking over from Gushungo (Mugabe) has given the party headaches because it has become a gambling Game of Thrones, with both factions wishing to capitalise on this.
“But even if (Vice President Phelekezela) Mphoko is the last acting president in such an event, it will be very difficult for him because Lacoste has a strong team of strategists while Mphoko appears to be waiting for fate to intervene in his favour.
“Even though whoever takes over temporarily will have to seek internal (Zanu PF) endorsement within 90 days, Team Lacoste also has an upper hand here as it already has strong structures throughout the country.
“At any rate, there is no one of similar political weight to Ngwena (Mnangagwa) in the other camp who can go toe-to-toe with him if Gushungo is not there,” the party bigwig who claims to be non-aligned in its ugly brawls said. Daily News