President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba has declined to clarify his boss’ position regarding Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s purported ouster, as the mystery surrounding his position deepens.
Instead, Charamba on Friday threw the gauntlet to Mugabe and Moyo, saying they should provide clarity on the matter.
“Don’t ask me an issue which is between the President and his minister,” he said.
“I have nothing to do with it because I am not Moyo.
“He has to speak on his behalf.
“It is an issue between the President and the minister so it is the two people who must clarify not me.”
Unwittingly though, it seemed Charamba had confirmed there was something amiss with Moyo’s ministerial position, saying the President and the minister had to iron it out and “no one in the government is allowed to comment on the matter” and asking rhetorically “whenever you fight with your wife, do you go public about it or you address it internally?”
Moyo was on Tuesday reportedly kicked out of Cabinet due to a technicality after circumstances under which he had been appointed as minister changed.
It is speculated that Mugabe told Moyo to step down so he could reappoint him as minister, as he was now an elected legislator, but there’s no consensus from the country’s top legal minds on whether this was necessary.
The political science professor was among five ministers appointed by Mugabe outside Parliament after the 2013 general election, after he lost his bid for the Tsholotsho North seat to Roselyn Nkomo, then of MDC-T.
On June 10, Moyo stood as a Zanu PF candidate in the same constituency after the MDC-T recalled Nkomo, who had ditched the party for the MDC Renewal.
Pressed further, an ambiguous Charamba said: “Continue speculating the way you have been doing and when all is done, it is either you will be embarrassed or not.
“I don’t know and I don’t want to talk about it because this is an issue for the President and his minister.
“Let me ask: Whenever you fight with your wife, do you go public about it or you address it internally?
“So how will I know what is between the President and his ministers?”
There is growing speculation within the government circles that Moyo may have angered Mugabe through his utterances during an interview on BBC HARDtalk programme.
The bone of contention, some say, was what was seen as Moyo’s trivialisation of accusations against former Vice-President Joice Mujuru by First Lady Grace Mugabe as “political banter”.
His comments during the interview, sources say, were seen as an indirect attack on Mugabe and his wife, as they led a spirited campaign against Mujuru, laying various charges against her, including that she was plotting to assassinate the veteran ruler.
“That statement did not go down well with authorities because it meant that the President was joking when he said (former Vice-President Joice) Mujuru wanted to kill him,” a confidante said.
“It means that Mujuru was removed from office based on jokes, something which puts the integrity of the Presidency into question.”
In the run up to Zanu PF’s congress last December, Grace launched a scathing attack on Mujuru, accusing her of all sorts of things and crimes ranging from corruption to plots to oust Mugabe “the (assassinated DRC leader Laurent,) Kabila way”.”
Government sources said Mugabe felt Moyo had exposed him to “shame” from Mujuru, who later responded after the interview questioning the Zanu PF leadership why it fired her from the government and eventually expelled her from the party