HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa confronted internal Zanu PF opponents on
Wednesday with the help of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Isaac
Moyo, ZimLive can reveal.
The embattled 77-year-old leader used a Zanu PF politburo
meeting in Harare to accuse some Zanu PF officials of plotting against him by
conspiring with the opposition, while promoting the ambitions of Vice President
Constantino Chiwenga to take over.
In a stark demonstration of the conflation between state
institutions and Zanu PF, Mnangagwa summoned Moyo to present an “intelligence
report” about a purported plot against him, believed to have been commissioned
by state security minister Owen Mudha Ncube.
sources told ZimLive that Moyo turned up with posters allegedly printed ahead
of planned anti-government protests on Friday. The posters denounced Mnangagwa,
while extolling his deputy.
Moyo, however, concluded
that the plot was being spearheaded by Politburo member Claveria Chizema
(secretary for health, child care and the elderly) and former Mbare MP and
businessman Tendai Savanhu. “Moyo accused
Chizema and Savanhu of organising and funding the planned anti-government
protests on Friday,” a source briefed on the proceedings said.
“It was styled like Jonathan Moyo’s
‘Blue Ocean’ presentation in July 2017, when the target then was Mnangagwa. It
was quite theatrical, but of a lesser quality. Placards were presented,
allegedly seized from all 10 provinces indicating support for Chiwenga. Moyo
told the Politburo the placards were allegedly going to be paraded on July 31,”
the source said.
The target of Moyo’s presentation, prepared allegedly at the
instigation of Mnangagwa, was Chiwenga, the 63-year-old former army general who
led a 2017 military coup that ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.
Chiwenga sat silently listening to the presentation.
Our source revealed: “The plan appeared to send out a message
to Chiwenga that we are watching you, but they were either too cowardly to
confront him or their strategy was always to just try and unnerve him.
“Moyo told the Politburo they had looked into Chiwenga and
found him to be a most loyal cadre supportive of Mnangagwa’s leadership,
effectively isolating Chizema and Savanhu. There was no assertive position on
Savanhu taken by the Politburo. Instead, all guns were aimed at Chizema who was
identified as the kingpin of the plot.”
Chiwenga is reportedly growing impatient with Mnangagwa, who squandered
international goodwill following the military coup by failing to implement
reforms and nurturing corruption by his family and associates.
The vice president and his supporters fear rising public
anger against the regime could engulf them, and are reportedly keen to see
Mnangagwa’s back even before his five-year term – controversially secured in a
disputed election in 2018 – is over.
Zanu PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told journalists after
the meeting that Chizema had been suspended for “dereliction of duty”, he
charged for failing to report to the Zanu PF security department or the CIO
that anti-Mnangagwa posters had been delivered to her home.
Mnangagwa fears that Friday’s protests against corruption and
poverty could unseat his government, and he has accused organisers of being
“terrorists” planning an “insurrection” while vowing a strong response by
Police last week arrested Jacob Ngarivhume, the main
organiser of the protests, and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono after accusing them
of inciting public violence which the two men deny.
Over a dozen opposition activists and unionists have gone
into hiding to escape police attempts to arrest them before July 31.
Mnangagwa has reportedly instructed state security minister
Ncube to put in place plans to shut down the internet on Friday, the second
time this would be done in two years after a similar blackout during protests
sparked by fuel price increases in January last year.