Legendary newscaster, Godfrey Majonga, yesterday broke his silence on whether Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa forced him to plunge several storeys out of a Harare apartment window during an alleged clash over a woman in 1987, the Daily News has reported.
This comes after Mugabe told a bumper crowd in Bindura on Saturday that a 72-minute video presented in the Zanu PF politburo by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo on July 19 claimed Mnangagwa almost killed and succeeded in ending the career of the then ZBC television star.
Mugabe claimed at the weekend rally that Mnangagwa found Majonga in a flat of his girlfriend and, raging with fury, allegedly forced the soft-spoken media personality to choose between sitting on a red-hot stove or jumping to his death from the third floor of a downtown high rise building in the capital.
Majonga allegedly took the easy route of jumping through the window of the flat where the stand-off occurred, according to Mugabe.
The former broadcaster, who now heads a nine-member Zimbabwe Media Commission — the reformed regulatory body presiding over the media sector — sustained multiple injuries following the fall, with his nervous system devastated by spinal cord injuries from blunt force trauma after landing on hard concrete.
He became paralysed and wheelchair-bound for life.
Ironically, the incident took place in the same year that Zanu and Zapu signed the Unity Accord to end the bloodletting in the Midlands and Matabeleland Province, through what became known as the Gukurahundi era.
Upon being contacted for comment yesterday, Majonga initially told the Daily News that he could not give details over the murky episode because he had not watched Mugabe’s speech at the Mashonaland Central youth interface meeting.
After narrating to him what Mugabe said, he said: “Handina chekutaura, madii kuvabvunza ivo? Handina kuzvinzwa ndanga ndiri kufuneral. (I have nothing to say, why don’t you ask the people making the allegations? Besides, I didn’t hear what the president said, I was attending a funeral).”
He went on: “The people who can help you is the person making the allegations. I have no comment.”
Majonga is now the director of Danhiko Project, established soon after Zimbabwe attained its independence to provide education and skills training as well as rehabilitation to ex-combatants who had abandoned their education midway in order to take part in the war of liberation.
While the first five year of the project were exclusive to ex-combatants, Danhiko now caters for all the disabled who want to attain skills in different trades.
Mugabe’s wife, Grace, is its patron.
Efforts to obtain comment from Moyo were fruitless yesterday.
In an explosive video — which he used in defence of embattled Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere — Moyo alleged that Mnangagwa was a callous and cruel leader hell-bent on usurping Mugabe’s power.
Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, has vowed to run for another five-year term in 2018 despite widespread accusations that his government has abused human rights and destroyed the once-prosperous economy.
Moyo’s video — presented on a smart board in the politburo — spotlights a nine-page document called Blue Ocean, allegedly authored by Mnangagwa and his allies, claiming that the vice president was the designated successor or that he was the only successor on the verge of taking over anytime now.
Mugabe told the rally that Moyo had excavated dirt on Mnangagwa’s role in the 2004 Tsholotsho plot meant to further the vice president’s presidential chances.
Those supporting these principles envisaged a presidium with Mugabe, a Zezuru, as president, Mnangagwa, a Karanga, as one vice-president with an Ndebele co-vice-president, and a “young Turk” and legal advisor to Zanu PF, Patrick Chinamasa (Manyika), as national chairman.
After catching wind of the plot, Mugabe responded by suspending six provincial chairpersons and the rest of the coup plotters but spared Mnangagwa after he had distanced himself from the alleged plot.
A prominent turncoat politician, Moyo was a key player in the drama that unfolded.
According to Mugabe, Moyo never forgave Mnangagwa for refusing to take responsibility for his role in the ill-fated Tsholotsho debacle for which the political science professor was suspended together with a handful Zanu PF provincial chairs in 2004.
“Ndokubva azotsvaga dzimwe cases dzaakatipa, mutorododo wakadai wezviito zvavaMnangagwa. Haa zvimwe zvisina kunaka. Vakakonzera uyu mukomana aiva chirema anonzani, vasangana kuimba yemusikana, Majonga yah.
“Vasangana ipapo Majonga ndiye aidanana nemusikana uyu akanzi iwe kana uchada hupenyu you make a choice wogara pachitofu ichi chiri kupisa or you jump out through the window hameno kuti kana akapihwa those two choices I suppose munhu ipapo unenge usisina pfungwa yakatwasanuka.
“Akaona as just one of the two. No, ko dai akangoti resist, do what you can I will not do either of the them asi akangovhunduka akava nervous ndokubva asarudza kuzvidonhedza, ndozvatinonzwa kuti akajamba nekuwindow, kujamba nepawindow means storeys down.
Akatyokawoka, zvino angova chirema but he still has his brains, arikuma disabled uko, hameno kana zvirizvo vaMnangagwa vanoti havamboziva nyaya iyoyo.
Ndoimwe yakanyorwawo iyoyo yanezvimwe zvakati kuti, zvino vaMnangagwa vakati, fine ndichamupindura. Vakandiudza musi uno kuti vakapedza,” Mugabe said.
Mugabe said Mnangagwa, who is still recovering from suspected poisoning, had prepared his response to Moyo.
“He had some 65 pages of reply but nehurwere hwavainahwo he can only stand achitaura perhaps 15 or so minutes but kana asimba he will reply to him,” Mugabe said.
“Ndidzo nyaya dzimwe dzinotivhiringa muparty, personal differences, attacks and ambitions — zvatinoda kuti zvipere.”