President Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo in face-to-face 'closed door' meeting


INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo, who was subjected to an angry tirade throughout last weekend by President Robert Mugabe, met the veteran leader in Harare on Monday.

Government sources said Moyo and Mugabe "ironed out their differences" during the closed door meeting, enabling the minister to attend Tuesday's cabinet meeting.

"The meeting was held behind closed doors on Monday evening. By the end of it the two men had found each other. On Tuesday the minister attended Cabinet and it's now business as usual," said the Zanu-PF official who asked not to be named.

Moyo's cabinet position was left in doubt Sunday after Mugabe used the funeral of Nathan Shamuyarara to launch a scathing attack against the information minister.

Mugabe accused Moyo of working to divide Zanu-PF from within and using his intellect to set party leaders against each other.

The Zanu-PF leader also claimed Moyo had employed opposition activists as editors at State-run newspapers and media organisations.

"What happened is that a half baked security report landed on Mugabe's desk and the President hit the roof," our source said.

"The minister requested the meeting where he was going to fill the gaps in the security report, which means backing his editors and putting across a compelling case against allegations that they are traitors."

Mugabe faction. The former RBZ chief reportedly claimed Moyo had banned reporters from covering him.

Allies of the minister said Moyo was victim to what was, effectively, a vicious hatchet job by the Zanu-PF faction backing Vice President Joice Mujuru to take over from Mugabe.

The information minister is widely associated with the rival faction rallying behind justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe won another five year term as President last year and has indicated he will serve the full term to 2018.

However, the veteran leader turned 90 this year and is reportedly battling failing health along with other challenges associated with old age.

Both Mnangagwa and Mujuru publicly demur at any suggestions they are interested in the top job but fierce turf wars continue behind the scenes, fueled by the expectation "vacant" signs will be posted at State House sooner rather than later.

Significantly, Mugabe metaphorically called Moyo a "weevil", a charge remarkably similar to Mujuru's claim in February that the minister's drive against corruption in government and State-run enterprises was part of a campaign to destroy Zanu-PF from within.

Delighted allies of Mujuru such as Didymus Mutasa would later demand that the party use gamatox (a local pesticide that is lethal to humans) to clean the party of the weevil infestation.

However, South Africa based political analyst, Dinizulu Macaphulana, said Mugabe may not have been speaking for Mujuru's faction, suggesting there was another group in Zanu-PF rallying behind the President's increasingly influential wife, Grace.

"Absent in the Zimbabwean table of political debate is the observation that in actuality one of the most influential of these many parties in Zanu-PF is the one led by Grace Mugabe," Macaphulana wrote Tuesday in an article available in our opinion section.

"So much dust has been raised about the Joice Mujuru faction and the Emmerson Munangagwa faction to the total ignorance of how Grace Mugabe is grouping people around herself and her own political project to seize power in the party and the country if not to ensure that those who will protect her vast business empire succeed Mugabe and secure her golden pickings for posterity.

"The tirade that Mugabe threw up at Heroes Acre was not in defence of the Mujuru faction or an attack on any other, but it was a launch of a new offensive by one of the parties in Zanu-PF, and one closest to his old ear. The prevailing fight in Zanu-PF these days is who gets Mugabe's ear!

The party within Zanu-PF that is led by Grace Mugabe is peopled by business tycoons, pastors, prophets, briefcase academics and other "men of God."

"These are people thrown into politics by the need to protect financial interests and gains that run the danger of being lost if an individual not sympathetic to Grace succeeds Mugabe.

"What they have gained silently through political patronage they publicly and loudly thank God for it and preach gospels of prosperity and wealth. This is the party of "God" that directly eats from under the table of Robert Mugabe."

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