Former minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Jonathan Moyo, is escalating his war of words against top bureaucrat, George Charamba — the President’s spokesperson.
In a blizzard of tweets on the micro-blogging platform Twitter, Moyo, who is reportedly holed up in Kenya, describes Charamba as a “bullish permanent secretary” who is disliked by his peers for allegedly being intrusive.
Charamba, who doubles as the spokesperson for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and permanent secretary in the ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, once worked as Moyo’s subordinate in the same ministry.
There has been no love lost between them after Moyo fell out with Mnangagwa over former president Robert Mugabe’s succession.
Moyo was in the opposition faction, known as the Generation 40, which reportedly preferred former first lady Grace Mugabe or former Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi to succeed Mugabe ahead of Mnangagwa.
Despite being Mugabe’s aide, Charamba was more aligned to the “crocodile”, as Mnangagwa is affectionately known.
For backing Mnangagwa, Charamba also came under attack from Grace, who shouted at him at a rally in Chinhoyi last year before the dramatic turn of events that saw the military stepping in, leading to Mugabe’s resignation.
Doomsayers, possibly including Moyo, might have thought Charamba’s career as Mugabe’s spokesperson was over when Mnangagwa was fired from Zanu PF and government towards the end of last year, but the despot kept faith in him.
Following the military’s intervention, days before Mnangagwa bounced back as Zanu PF leader and Head of State, Charamba was in the mix, negotiating Mugabe’s exit, along with Roman Catholic cleric, Father Fidelis Mukonori and former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono.
Thereafter, he continued in the same position, this time as Mnangagwa’s spokesperson.
That Charamba has plodded on, and in some instances has even taken the war to his former boss — Mugabe — seems to have infuriated Moyo even more.
“Charamba — one of four civil servants that violated their fiduciary duties and committed treason by aiding and abetting the illegal 15 Nov coup — is now fair game since he has entered the 2018 election campaign. When did Charamba join the public service?” asked Moyo.
In one tweet, Moyo said Charamba, once served as an information tsar in the office of the late president Canaan Banana.
Asked to comment on Moyo’s tweets, Charamba poured scorn on the fugitive former minister’s statements.
“I don’t listen to what he says. I have no time for him. Honestly, I cannot listen to Jonathan,” Charamba said.
Moyo accused Charamba of straying from his duties and that one day he might find himself before the courts for abusing his duties as a “mere civil servant”.
“… Charamba is a civil servant. Yet he acts like a politician and is now tackling opposition politicians…in blatant violation of s200 of the … Constitution which came into full effect on 22/8/13. The law will visit him!
“Before he is visited by the law sooner or later, whatever Charamba believes about Mnangagwa’s or Chiwenga’s….it is necessary and only right that Charamba’s unconstitutional Zanu PF participation in politics be dealt with politically,” Moyo said.
Moyo, who was part of the team that crafted Zanu PF’s 2013 manifesto also alleges that Charamba was behind the ruling party’s latest manifesto which has been met with mixed reactions.