by Professor Jonathan Moyo
By any measure, this is unprecedented. Never before in the history of Zimpapers has any person been subjected to such daily vilification and abuse. This is for just one week but it has been unrelentingly going on since January 2016!
With respect to today’s abuse attributed by the Sunday Mail to Air Marshall Perence Shiri in a Machiavellian way, I wish to categorically state that, in general, I never met or knew of Air Marshall Perence Shiri before Independence in 1980 and he never met or knew of me.
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All I know about him is post-independence. As such, Air Marshall Shiri cannot be, and is not, under any circumstance or capacity my biographer. In the same vein, it is common cause that Air Marshall Shiri is not an archivist or historian of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.
In particular, there’s absolutely nothing in the Sunday Mail story that Air Marshall Shiri specifically andfactiall says about me at Mgagao or during the liberation struggle. He does not say that he met me or encountered me, as that would be absolutely false. What he says about me is ty.sa with no evidentiary value whatsoever.
If I were Air Marshall Perence Shiri, I would keep quiet. Vakuru vanoti kunyarara kurinani pane kutaura.
Otherwise the crass attempt by the current handlers of Zimpapers in general and the Sunday Mail in particular to use and abuse Air Marshall Shiri is too transparent to fool anyone. The successionist forces behind this charade are too naked to hide behind Air Marshall Shiri.
Since December 2014, General Chiwenga has been doing everything at his disposal to character assassinate and demonise me for refusing to accept and support VP Mnangagwa’s succession scheme. It is common cause that prior to December 2014, and especially between 2010 and 2014 leading to the ouster of Joice Mujuru, Chiwenga and I worked together very closely. When I was Information Minister, Chiwenga convinced me that Joice Mujuru was plotting to use unconstitutional means to topple President Mugabe.
But after the Fifth Zanu PF’s Congress in 2014, everything changed at the end of the Congress when Emmerson Mnangagwa was appointed one of the two Vice Presidents along with Cde Phelekezela Mphoko.
Suddenly, we were supposed to be all about “the anointed” Shumba and not about the elected Gushungo. As Information Minister, in December 2014 through the Herald and in May 2015 through the BBC’s Hardralk, I resisted the claim that VP Mnangagwa had been anointed as President Mugabe’s successor at the Zanu PF 2014 Congress. I repeatedly pointed out that Mnangagwa had been appointed as Vice President and Second Secretary of Zanu PF and Vice President of Zimbabwe to assist but not to succeed President Mugabe.
Thereafter all hell broke loose. A lot is better left unsaid even though it is well known, not least because most of it is in the public domain. But in January 2017, Chris Mutsvangwa started telling anyone and everyone who wanted to hear that Chiwenga says in March 1975 at Mgagao I got the late Rev Ndabaningi Sithole to have pronounced a death sentence on Chiwenga and that Chiwenga was saved from the execution of that sentence by the assassination of Herbert Chitepo on 18 March 1975 in Lusaka, Zambia.
Chiwenga has claimed I deserted the liberation war and this has been repeated by Mutsvangwa, God knows how many times. The claims are apparently based on Wilfred Mhanda’s book: Memories of a Freedom Fighter.
Again I wish to categorically and with all due respect state for the umpteenth time that I was nowhere near Mgagao in 1975. Make no mistake about it, in 1975 I was a high school student and there teachers and classmates will testify to that. I furiously stand by the account I gave to the Standard Newspaper published on 2 July 2017 that I was taken to Mgagao from Zambia in mid-June 1976 and arrived there knowing not a single Shona word after the 6 June 1976 massacre of Zipra and Ndebele speaking Cdes. This is a fact whose evidence I know will be corroborated without fail because the truth always prevails. The gratuitous insult that I was a CIA agent as a high school student is very useful insofar as it highlights the evil of successionists. I pray and hope that the STEM263 high school students who went to the US in 2016 will not in future be accused of being CIA.
There’s nothing in Mhanda’s book that says I was at Mgagao in 1975. The claim that I was in Mgagao in 1975 comes from Chiwenga through Mutsvangwa. Chiwenga has said in the Herald that I am now “where they wanted me to be”. Again, I ask, where is that? Where they want to use green and evil lies to harm me simply and only because I have refused to support VP Mnangagwa’s unconstitutional and disloyal succession scheme? Kana zvakadaro handeitione.
I will not belabour any point to explain that in 1976 there were no Zanla or Zipra camps following the “unification” of Zimbabwe’s liberation forces under the guidance of the then Frontline States. It is common cause that in June 1976, Mgagao was supposed to be a Zipa and not a Ionia camp; and it is also common cause that on 6 June 1976 Zipra and Ndebele speaking cadres were massacred at Mgagao camp.
Finally, I’m happy that Chiwenga wants pre and post-independence disclosures about who was who, who did what and so forth. That’s good. Meanwhile, I take that to mean he wants the disclosure of who contributed what to his doctorate and who really wrote his KZN PhD. Again, the Shona wisdom that kunyarara kurinani pane kutaura, applies. #Handeitione.
Hon Prof JonathanN. Moyo, MP Tsholotsho North