ZANU PF politburo member and higher education minister, Jonathan Moyo has hit back at Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “murderous” camp, which recently labelled him “childish” for taking the party’s mortal succession wars on to twitter.
Since discovering his love for social media few months back, Moyo has delighted in excoriating ambitious party rivals while eulogising President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
For that, he was, last week, dismissed as a “spiteful political crook, charlatan and low-life devil incarnate” by outspoken Gokwe-Nembudziya MP, Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
“Your habit of twisting words to suit certain agendas is childish and obviously meant to sow seeds of dissent among Zimbabwean youths,” Wadyajena twitted.
“A lot of spiteful political crooks, charlatans and low-life devil incarnates [are] abusing the First Lady’s [Grace Mugabe] name.”
But in a terse and indirect attack of Mnangagwa at the weekend, Moyo said he was more at ease with being childish compared to his “murderous” rival.
“On any day & time I would rather enjoy the innocence of being labelled childish than being labelled as murderous!,” Moyo twitted, without mentioning names.
Before the fall out … VP Emmerson Mnangagwa and education minister Jonathan Moyo
The Tsholotsho North MP’s cryptic comment could easily be interpreted to refer to his ally turned rival, Mnangagwa whose name has featured prominently in two of the country’s most bloody post-independence episodes.
These include killings on an estimated 20 000 civilians during the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres by a North Korean trained army unit in Matebeleland and Midlands provinces and the 2008 slaughter of 300 opposition followers in the violent presidential run-off campaign.
Moyo is best placed to account for Mnangagwa’s transgressions, having lost a father during Gukurahundi.
A few years ago, Genocide Watch named Mnangagwa and Sydney Sekeramayi genocidists for their roles during the Gukurahundi.
Mnangagwa was intelligence minister while Sekeramayi was in charge of the defence during the killings.
But the current bust-up among Zanu PF politicians has all the markings of simmering tensions among the ruling party’s warring factions.
The Zanu PF succession war climaxed November last year leading to the ouster of its Vice President Joice Mujuru and dozens of her party backers.
With Mujuru having been stampeded out of contention, it was time for her party rivals to turn swords against each other.
Mnangagwa is seen as heir apparent to Presidency while Moyo has apparently ganged up with a group of adventurous young Turks commonly referred to as Generation 40 to torpedo his ascendancy.
Since his mortal wars with the Mujuru started few years back, a sly Mnangagwa has chosen to use Wadyajena, among his runners, to kick a lot of dust in party rivals’ faces.
Recently, Moyo attacked Mnangagwa after the VP was quoted in the London-based New African magazine suggesting that the late ‘Father Zimbabwe’, Joshua Nkomo, was a sell-out while his nemesis President Mugabe was a true people’s man.
Ahead of that, Moyo publicly dismissed any suggestions that Mnangagwa was the heir apparent.
One such moment was during an interview with the BBC where Moyo, without saying it, made it clear that he found any suggestions that Mnangagwa was the successor irritating.