One of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bitter rivals Jonathan Moyo has warned Britain that by openly supporting Mnangagwa it could be making the same mistake it made by backing Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Prime Minister Abel Muzorewa at independence.

Muzorewa who was Prime Minister prior to the elections leading to Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, lost dismally to Robert Mugabe winning only three seats out of the 80 that were reserved for blacks at the time.

Mugabe won 57 and Joshua Nkomo who was leading the Zimbabwe African People’s Union at the time won 20.

Moyo’s comments came after what he described as Stephen Sackur’s “crass” interview with the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Sackur grilled Chamisa on his grabbing power hours after Morgan Tsvangirai death, his promises of introducing a bullet train between Harare and Bulawayo and the violence against former colleague Thokozani Khupe at Tsvangirai’s funeral.

He heaped praise on Mnangagwa for the reforms he had made since he took over from Mugabe in November last year.

“After @stephensackur’s crass @BBCHARDtalk with @nelsonchamisa, there’s growing chatter @CatrionaLaing1 is behaving more like #JuntaPF’s Commissar to Britain than UK’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe. They’ve forgotten how such support for incumbent Muzorewa in 1980 ended in UK shame!” Jonathan Moyo tweeted.

Moyo who left the country soon after the military intervention is pushing from all sides to prevent Mnangagwa from winning the coming elections.

He has even suggested that Mugabe should rally the opposition forces into a Grand National Union by throwing his weight behind them to restore legitimacy.