Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo says he was not the architect of the so-called “Tsholotsho Declaration” that sought to propel President Emmerson Mnangagwa into the Zanu PF presidium.
Moyo, who was ostracised after the failed “palace coup” in 2005 against long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, made the claims in a new interview where he was shedding light on his tumultuous relationship with Mnangagwa.
The exiled former Zanu PF strategist said the meeting held at Dinyane Secondary School in Tsholotsho where Zanu PF provincial chairmen wanted to push for Mnangagwa’s ascendancy was a brainchild of speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and former senator Believe Gaule.
Mudenda was the Zanu PF provincial chairman for Matabeleland North while Gaule was a district chairman in Tsholotsho.
Moyo said Mnangagwa got him involved in the meeting as part of a sinister plot.
“The request by Mudenda and Gaule for me to officially invite Mnangagwa plus some cabinet ministers was done as a ploy by Mnangagwa’s cronies to have my fingerprints in the organisation of the event in order to get me to be seen as having endorsed it,” the former minister, now exiled in Kenya, told the online publication Spotlight.
“ In particular, Gaule did this because he knew that I was vehemently opposed to Mnangagwa’s shenanigans. In the end, I accepted to extend the invitations and I asked Francis Nhema to go with me to Parliament Building to invite Mnangagwa with whom I had no communication or access.
“Nhema did all the talking and Mnangagwa was only too happy to accept the invitation, which he had in fact engineered.”
Moyo said he became part of the deal because he wanted Mnangagwa to atone for his role in the Gukurahundi massacres.
“I accepted the request from Zanu PF Matabeleland North Province and the party’s Tsholotsho DCC (District Coordinating Committee) after resolving that I, with others I was in communication with in Matabeleland on how best to deal with the region’s vexing problems, would use the opportunity to get Mnangagwa to come to terms with and atone for his Gukurahundi atrocities by supporting the region’s developmental agenda,” Moyo added.
“In addition, I saw Mnangagwa’s quest for a seat in Zanu PF’s presidium as an opportunity to reform the presidency of the party and ipso facto of the country’s presidency by rotating it among the Zezurus, Karangas, Manyikas and Ndebeles.”
Gaule, a staunch Mnangagwa ally, was expelled from Zanu PF for his role in organising the controversial meeting and at one time he became an MDC senator.
He was readmitted into Zanu PF after Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe following a military coup in 2017 and the following year he complained that soldiers were used to elbow him out of the party’s primary elections for the Tsholotsho North constituency.
— The Standard