INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo has told Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa he is welcome to go to hell after the struggle commander told the minister to stop “commenting on matters he has no clue how, when or where they happened”.
Moyo told NewZimbabwe.com Wednesday: “The notion or proposition that only the likes of Dumiso Dabengwa are qualified to talk about the struggle is the height of corrupt madness, and if Dabengwa truly believes in that madness, then he can go to hell.”
The febrile exchanges continue after Dabengwa accused the recently appointed vice president Phelekezela Mphoko of adding colour to his struggle record through “misrepresentations about his military exploits”.
Moyo had then defended the VP, accusing Dabengwa of being jealous, trivial and immature but the former Zipra intelligence chief said the Zanu PF minister should not be opening his mouth on issues he knew nothing about.
“I do not know where he comes from and thought he is wrong trying to comment on matters he had no idea of. He has no knowledge of these things and I wonder how he can comment on these,” said Dabengwa.
On Wednesday Moyo hit back, saying liberation discourse was a not a preserve of the likes of Dabengwa. He insisted that, as a Zimbabwean, he was entitled to speak on the subject.
Said the minister: “Notwithstanding that I’m entitled to do so as a Zimbabwean, In fact, I did not comment on the liberation struggle …
“… but on Cde Dabengwa’s unfortunate and misguided remarks on the appointment of VP Mphoko who deserves our support not just in Matabeleland but across the country.
“I hope that Dabengwa does not see himself as synonymous with the liberation struggle such that a comment on him is ipso facto a comment on the liberation struggle.
“In any event, while people like Cde Dabengwa must be, as they indeed are, respected for their immense contribution to our country’s liberation struggle, it is also important for them to understand and respect the fact that they do not have a monopoly to talking or bragging about that struggle, more-so given that some of yesterday’s heroes are today’s running dogs of imperialism.”
Mphoko was appointed second vice president at the Zanu PF congress earlier this month, taking up a position reserved for the former Zapu, but Dabengwa said the new VP did not qualify for the job since he ditched his Zipra colleagues during the war to continue to work with Zanu.
Dabengwa also pointed out that Mphoko joined the Central Intelligence Organisation after the war, insinuating connivance in the 1980s Gukurahundi campaign which, according to rights groups, claimed 20,000 lives in the Matabeleland and Midlands regions.
Professor Moyo then rose to Mphoko’s defence, saying Dabengwa’s remarks were “manifestly reckless”.
“It is most unfortunate that a stalwart of our liberation struggle, more-so one of Dabengwa’s historic stature, has chosen to come out sounding very trivial and immature,” Moyo said in an interview on Sunday.
He added: “Pettiness and jealousy are the stuff of counter-revolutionaries and quislings and there are many comrades who would not like to see Dabengwa continuing in that category.
“Dabengwa must understand that just like a teacher who does not support his or her rising student is a charlatan, so is a commander who pulls down his rising subordinate.”