A ZANU PF MP has chided Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s Twitter rants as “childish” and accused him of abusing social media to settle political scores with some top party officials, as infighting in the ruling party takes a new dimension, it has been reported.
In one of the clearest examples yet that factional tempers were soaring, Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena on Wednesday castigated Moyo on Twitter, describing him as a “spiteful political crook, charlatan and low-life devil incarnate”, according to Newsday
“Your habit of twisting words to suit certain agendas is childish and obviously meant to sow seeds of dissent among Zimbabwean youths,” he blasted.
“A lot of spiteful political crooks, charlatans and low-life devil incarnates [are]abusing the First Lady’s [Grace Mugabe] name.”
Wadyajena is seen as a staunch ally of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his outburst could be an indicator that factionalism has got to a head in President Robert Mugabe’s party.
Contacted for comment, Wadyajena said he would not speak beyond Twitter as what he had said was enough.
Wadyajena’s Twitter account only has three tweets — all directed at Moyo.
Moyo did not respond to the jibes, although he has previously blasted Wadyajena for the manner he questioned Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere over alleged shady indigenisation deals in Parliament.
The latest spate comes in the wake of Mugabe’s counsel that members should not take to social media and the Internet to castigate each other, but on his part, Wadyajena will claim he was giving as much as his faction got.
Zanu PF youth secretary in the politburo Pupurai Togarepi yesterday said the Youth League was worried about the alleged abuse of social media platforms by some top-ranking party officials.
“As Youth League, we are extremely worried that some people are using social media to destabilise the revolution and the harmony in the party. They are using social media to settle scores when it should be a platform to share ideas, educate or, better still, to inform others,” he said.
“Zanu PF has its own ways of dealing with such issues, but I must hasten to say that we need not take such people seriously because some of them are faceless characters, cowards, who cannot come out openly and say their feelings on the right platforms.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday declined to comment over the issue, saying: “The President spoke on the matter and the media quoted him correctly.
“He issued an order and we are supposed to abide by that. The party (Zanu PF) has structures and it is up to these to be activated in order to deal with the matter.”
The Higher Education minister has been accused of taking potshots at some top officials using his Twitter account, with Mnangagwa largely being seen as his target, forcing his rivals to demand his censure by the ruling party’s national disciplinary committee.
On Wednesday, another Zanu PF youth and former student leader, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, took a dig at Moyo, describing him as a “dangerous successionist”, ironically a term that Moyo has used to attack others.
“The worst and dangerous successionist in our party, Zanu PF, is none other than himself, the one always writing about succession on his notorious Twitter account, the one who thinks that everything that Vice-Presidents or the First Lady do in their capacities should be interpreted in the stakes of succession politics, the one who has made clear his intentions from the outset summed up simply and regrettably as ‘destroying the party from within’,” Mugwadi wrote on Facebook, in an undisguised attack on Moyo.
“He is the one that HE [His Excellency] President [Robert Mugabe] has lamented for his shameless ‘full of I-know-it-all’ approach to political discourse. The long and approaching net of the party should not spare him I plead!”
Moyo seemed to draw the ire of his colleagues after he rubbished an article in the State media, which raised fears that a certain clique in the ruling party was abusing the First Lady’s name for political motives.
In the article, columnist Tichaona Zindoga claimed that Grace’s status had been “abused and hijacked by yet another clique of individuals, who went on to use her name to achieve political ends”.
Zindoga cited last weekend’s incident at the National Heroes Acre, where rival party youths fought running battles over T-shirts carrying a picture of Mugabe and the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo.
But Moyo defended the “Munhu wese kunaAmai (Everyone to rally behind Grace)” message on the T-shirts.
“It’s factionalist mischief to claim that Munhu wese kunaAmai besmirches the President when it’s same as kusina Amai hakuendwe (Don’t rally with anyone else other than mother). No thinking person can doubt that Amai is with the President where the President is.”
The Tsholotsho North MP could not be reached for comment on his mobile phone, while text messages sent to him on Wednesday were not responded to at the time of going to print last night.