Cabinet minister and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo waded into the saga involving the alleged poisoning of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday; suggesting that police should investigate and establish what caused his sudden illness.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has been adamant that the Vice President – seen as the most likely official to take over from the incumbent in the event that he leaves office – consumed “stale food”.

Mnangagwa’s family and allies insist, however, that the vice president was poisoned by rivals who are desperate to eliminate him, physically, from the succession race.

He had to be hospitalised in South Africa for nearly a week following his alleged poisoning in Gwanda two weeks ago. While he is now back in the country, Mnangagwa is still to resume his official duties.

Writing on micro blogging site Twitter, Moyo dared the vice president to report the matter to the police so that full-scale investigations could commence.

“The claim that VP Mnangagwa was poisoned means a crime was committed. Police should investigate the claim and crime,” he wrote.

Moyo and Mnangagwa were once bosom buddies.

The pinnacle of their closeness came in 2004 when the Higher Education minister tried to help Mnangagwa leapfrog his way into the party’s presidium in what became known as “the Tsholotsho Declaration”.

That incident caused sparks to fly in Zanu PF, with six provincial chairmen getting suspended for their role in convening an unsanctioned meeting at Dinyane School in Tsholotsho in November 2004 to plot Mnangagwa’s rise, which fell through.

Moyo had to leave Zanu PF, eventually, to try his luck as an independent parliamentarian. He was to bounce in Zanu PF a few years later, famously remarking on his return that “it was cold outside Zanu PF”.

Many argue that Moyo has never forgiven Mnangagwa for not coming to his rescue when he fired himself from Zanu PF for daring the party’s leadership by standing as an independent candidate, against party instructions to reserve the Tsholotsho seat for a woman candidate.

Since then, Moyo has not hesitated to take pot-shots at Mnangagwa, directly or indirectly. daily news