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News24.com | State media turns against former handler as Mugabe succession wars deepen

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2016-02-09 07:25

Special Report

Zim war vets want Moyo, Kasukuwere out of Zanu-PF
Zim war vets want Moyo, Kasukuwere out of Zanu-PF

Zimbabwe's war veterans have called for the expulsion of national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Minister of High Education Jonathan Moyo from the ruling Zanu-PF, as factional wars within the party intensify.

News24 Correspondent

Harare - What happens when the media you once controlledturns against you?

Zimbabwe's ex-information minister Jonathan Moyo was leftfuming on Monday after his radio interview was cancelled and the state Heralddaily carried allegations that he was illegitimate.

As ruling party wrangles deepen, ZiFM radio stationannounced suddenly on Monday morning that its scheduled interview with Moyo hadbeen "postponed due to a clash of schedules".

Moyo, 59, hit back, accusing the station - which is closelylinked to the ruling party - of not telling the truth.

"Truth is you 'postponed' the... program tonight underpressure from a successionist who feared the program would stray intopolitics!" he tweeted.

That was a reference to President Robert Mugabe's spokespersonGeorge Charamba.

Battle for power

He and Moyo, who is now higher education minister, are lockedin a very vicious battle for power as the public faces of two opposing factionsof Zanu-PF. Moyo is part of the G-40 faction while Charamba appears to supportVice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

For now Charamba appears to have the upper hand, at least asfar as the media is concerned.

The irony of that has not been lost on media commentatorsand journalists from the private press who haven't forgotten that Moyo was thearchitect of Zimbabwe's tough AIPPA press laws.

Passed into law by parliament in 2002, when Moyo wasinformation minister, they were used to arrest and detain journalists criticalof the state.

Later, while claiming to be opening up the airwaves, Moyo'sministry only licensed "private" stations that had clear links to Zanu-PF.

Media watchdog @ZimMediaReview said: "If YOU hadawarded radio licenses to truly independent broadcasters, you wouldn't be heretoday moaning about this."

The minister meantime threatened to launch a civildefamation case against those behind a story in the Herald that quotedallegations that he was the illegitimate son of Ndabaningi Sithole.

Sithole, who died in 2000, was a former nationalist andindependence war fighter who is now considered by many in Zanu-PF as a puppetof the white minority regime.

Warned Moyo: "I'll deal a blow to those behind [thestory] in ways they won't forget!"

As information minister between 2000-5 and 2013-15, Moyoappeared to control much of what went into the Herald and its sister papers.

Zimbabwe's @maDube tweeted: "What's happening to Moyotoday is what he used to do to the opposition over the years."

Mugabe has remained largely mum on the quarrel pitting twoof his biggest praise-singers, calling rather wanly for unity last week.

But the president will hold a meeting of his Soviet-stylepolitburo on Wednesday. There are suggestions that Moyo could be expelled fromZanu-PF at this meeting (though this may be wishful thinking on the part ofMoyo's rivals.)

Moyo has been booted out of Zanu-PF once before, in 2005. Heand several others were accused of plotting to oust Mugabe at the end of theprevious year.

2/9: Truth is you 'postponed' the STEM program tonight under pressure from a successionist who feared the program would stray into politics!

— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) February 8, 2016

7/9: What is unprofessional & unacceptable is @ZiFMStereo broadcast a defamatory interview with Charamba without giving me a right of reply!

— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) February 8, 2016

1/3: So @HeraldZimbabwe continues to publish these defamatory articles with reckless abandon. Enough is enough!https://t.co/SYjpRo3gbG

— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) February 8, 2016

3/3: @HeraldZimbabwe this is defamatory of my mother. I'll deal a blow to those behind it in ways they won't forget!https://t.co/SYjpRo3gbG

— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) February 8, 2016

Cheap politics. Try something else Cde! https://t.co/goaz1VmUZk

— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) February 8, 2016

If YOU had awarded radio licenses to truly independent broadcasters, you wouldn't be here today moaning about this. https://t.co/tB1dNusgTj

— Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) February 8, 2016

Irony of Prof's rant at ZiFM. In his stints as Info Minister, Prof Moyo saw to it no independent broadcasters were allowed to broadcast.

— Zim Media Review (@ZimMediaReview) February 8, 2016

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