After First Lady Grace Mugabe’s shock mauling of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday, identifying the victorious Zanu PF faction in the battle to succeed her husband was an easy task.
Prior to the Mnangagwa headache that began at a stage-managed rally at the Zanu PF headquarters and Grace’s Mazowe South shocker, rumoured G40 faction’s strategist Jonathan Moyo had been fighting a lone cyber battle against “Team Lacoste”.
He gave as much as he received from the papers he accused of getting instructions from President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba. Moyo accused Charamba of fighting in Mnangagwa’s corner.
Even after the performance by Grace and Sarah Mahoka — who dared Mnangagwa to disassociate himself from those plotting against Mugabe — the papers insisted Moyo had his back against the wall.
Moyo had allegedly been banned from using social media — especially Twitter — to discuss party issues by the Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday. Grace came to his defence at the rally and admonished his critics, including the once-feared war veterans. The Tsholotsho North MP, who has survived previous attempts to push him out of Zanu PF, was back on Twitter yesterday and he had a field day.
“Good morning good Zimbabweans,” he tweeted in Ndebele and Shona.
“The day after Mazowe Crush 2 is refreshingly good. Handei Tione.”
Mazowe Crush 1 was probably the rally held at Grace’s orphanage in Mazowe where former vice-president Joice Mujuru’s fate was sealed in 2014.
The Higher and Tertiary Education minister followed up the jab with more celebratory tweets. The tweets read: “Here is the question of the day folks: What is real, indigenous and truly Zimbabwean: Lacoste Perfume or Mazowe Crush?
“The Lacoste transformation: From infesting rivers as crocos to stocking duty-free shops as perfume.”
Grace said she would soon name and shame Zanu PF officials behind youths that don T-shirts inscribed “Team Lacoste”.
Team Lacoste is said to be a faction backing Mnangagwa and Moyo has in the past claimed it is the only grouping remaining in Zanu PF opposed to Mugabe’s continued rule.
Alex Magaisa, a legal expert and political commentator based in the United Kingdom, said it was clear that Moyo had turned the tables against his rivals that include War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa.
“Charamba, Mutsvangwa and the State media were part of the offensive, which targeted Moyo and for a time it seemed that Moyo was in trouble,” he wrote on his blog after Grace’s rally.
“Now, however, they are the ones in deep mire,” he added.
However, Magaisa said it was difficult to say what would happen to Mnangagwa after Grace’s outburst considering his close relationship with Mugabe.
“He is of different and stronger political stock [than Mujuru],” he wrote. “He has been with Mugabe for more than 40 years with close roles in security-related matters.
“He has played an integral role in Zanu PF electoral successes, by means both fair and foul. He is a man who knows a lot, perhaps too much.”
Moyo was brought into Zanu PF by Mugabe after he impressed as the spokesperson of the failed initiative to draft Zimbabwe’s new constitution at the turn of the millennium.
He was fired in 2004 for allegedly being the brains behind the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration — where party structures were said to have connived to replace Mugabe with Mnangagwa.
He was readmitted into Zanu PF in 2008 after reportedly engineering Mugabe’s controversial run-off election victory after he was pummelled by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the vote.
Moyo has said he learnt his lesson in 2004 well — not to associate with any Zanu PF faction plotting against Mugabe. -Standard
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