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Chiwenga rescued me when Grace Mugabe tormented me: Jonathan Moyo

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SELF-EXILED former Zanu-PF chief propagandist Professor Jonathan Moyo has revealed that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga came to his rescue in 2014 as former First Lady Grace Mugabe and other Zanu-PF bigwigs accused him of bringing the MDC into control of State-owned media.

The accusations came when, in April 2014, Moyo appointed his colleague Edmund Kudzayi as Editor of The Sunday Mail. Kudzayi joined the top post at the State-owned weekly straight from an obscure software and media company in the United Kingdom, and replaced Brezhnev Malaba, who was leaving The Sunday Mail to pursue business interests.

At the time, Kudzayi was touted as the proprietor and former head of product design at sosimpledesigns.com. Kudzayi has since turned into a ruling party critic, especially after Moyo and other Cabinet Ministers fled the country post-November 2017.

e said that he faced persecution from fellow party members plainly saying that then president, the late Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace were part of the team that gave him a hard time.

Asked on Twitter this week whether he was a proud member of the Mugabe led Zanu-PF, Professor Moyo responded describing his experience between 2013 and 2017 as “hell on earth!”.

This attracted a response from a twitter user, Clemence Manjengwa who said: “YAH I REMEMBER WHEN MUGABE CALLED YOU THE DEVIL INCARNATE AND JOICE MUJURU ACCUSING YOU OF BEING A CIA AGENT. THANK HEAVENS DR AMAI CAME TO YOUR RESCUE.”

Moyo was, however, quick to dismiss the allegations saying that Grace was part of the group that tormented him.

He responded: “NO SHE DIDN’T. SHE WAS WITH THOSE WHO CALLED ME THE DEVIL INCARNATE. I WAS ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING THE MDC INTO ZIMPAPERS. I WAS RESCUED BY GENERAL CHIWENGA. IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN I MENTIONED THIS IN MY CONVERSATION WITH ALEX MAGAISA FOR A SPECIAL EDITION OF @BIGSATURDAYREAD LAST YEAR!”

Moyo has described his return to government during that period as his worst regret.

Moyo says he regret not doing enough to help Robert Mugabe stop the military-assisted coup that pushed him out of power in November 2017.

Moyo also revealed that the coup started loading “in December 2014 when Joice Mujuru was pushed out”, and also said both Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted me out of Cabinet “like yesterday”.

“In public policy, one looks back and sees things that could or should have been done differently or done better. From 2013, I regret that I was reshuffled from the Information ministry in 2015 before I could .. complete the digitisation programme in broadcasting. In higher and tertiary education, science and technology development, I regret that the November 2017 military coup derailed the STEM initiative, which was meant to run from 2016 to 2026…

“I regret all this, but I know tomorrow is coming and these and related things will be done and done well. My biggest regret though is that I failed to convince President Mugabe to act to pre-empt the 2017 military coup which had been actively loading since December 2014, but whose roots were sunk in the 2008 presidential run-off election,” said Moyo, who fled into exile when the military placed Mugabe under house arrest and relied on MDC and Zanu-PF MPs to push the liberation icon into resignation.

Moyo said Mugabe trusted both his army under Constantino Chiwenga

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and his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and would not believe that they were working to remove him.

Said Moyo: “I believe I did everything one could do, including writing three confidential memos to President Mugabe, briefing him on several occasions and making a video presentation to the Zanu PF politburo. But President Mugabe was loyal to Mnangagwa and Chiwenga whom he gave the benefit of the doubt; never accepting or believing that either could seek to overthrow him in any way, let alone through a military coup.

“I really regret that I found myself with no means or way of convincing Mugabe to act. In the end, I engaged Rtd General Happyton Bonyongwe, in his capacity as the Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) around August 2017, but that too came to naught although I gave him compelling evidence, which has not been mentioned in the public domain.”

He was speaking in an an interview with NewsDay, from his base believed to be Kenya, where his wife hails from. Moyo also revealed that he regrets joining the Government after the 2013 elections.

“When I look back, I regret that I came back to government, and I mean Cabinet, in 2013. If there’s anything I wish I could correct, that’s it.

“The government and Cabinet I found in 2013 was very different from the one I served between 2000 and 2005.

“In 2013, there was no longer a government. Things had fallen apart. Government business had become succession business. First, it was about Joice Mujuru, she just did not want to see me back in government. Saviour Kasukuwere took me to her office ahead of the 2013 elections and she did not want to hear about me. She was actually, palpably pissed off to see me in her office.

“When I was appointed minister of Information in 2013, she could not believe it. She resisted our ministry’s efforts to reform ZBC and did not want to hear about salarygate. She attacked me in Chinhoyi, calling salarygate a CIA conspiracy to destroy Zanu PF from within. But the worst is when she got President Mugabe to call me “the devil incarnate” at Nathan Shamuyarira’s funeral in June 2014. That was hell on earth,” said Moyo.

But he says that the “hell” he went through from Mujuru was far less than what Mnangagwa dished him.

“… my ordeal under Joice Mujuru pales into insignificance when compared to what I went through after Mnangagwa became vice-president. It was a dog eat dog affair. Like Joice Mujuru, Mnangagwa wanted me out of the Information ministry and later out of Cabinet.

“He used Goodson Nguni and Virginia Mabhiza to falsify corruption charges against me over ZimDef; yes, the same Mnangagwa who is behind the arrest and release fiasco of his clan boy, Jorum Gumbo, at Zacc.

“Anyhow, I really regret that I went back into government in 2013. I wish I had stayed out to enjoy the life I had between 2005 and 2013 outside government. It was the best time for me and my family,” said Moyo.

He also revealed that his much-anticipated book will be out in two weeks’ time.

Alongside Moyo, other former Cabinet Ministers who fled into exile in November 2017 are Mandiitawepi Chimene, Walter Mzembi, Patrick Zhuwao and Saviour Kasukuwere.

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