HARARE – Jonathan Moyo and Obert Mpofu locked horns in an explosive politburo meeting on Tuesday, with the Information minister accusing the Transport minister of having the brains of a rat.
Politburo sources told the Daily News Mpofu, who was in charge of Zanu PF’s Matabeleland North congress preparations, was accused by Moyo of “unilaterally and procedurally” orchestrating the withdrawal of the nomination to the central committee of speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
Minister Sithembiso Nyoni and Mudenda were accused of belonging to a faction led by under-fire Vice President Joice Mujuru.
At the centre of this latest twist in the multi-faceted party ructions appear to be a dogfight for Zanu PF’s powerful post of national chairman, currently occupied by senior minister Simon Khaya Moyo and apparently also coveted by National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda.
Mpofu, who is said to be also eyeing the post of national chairman, unsuccessfully lobbied the politburo to confirm the withdrawal of the duo.
According to insiders, the proposal was shot down by Moyo, who was supported by Cain Mathema, culminating in the harsh exchange of words.
So vicious was the exchange that Moyo pummelled Mpofu with a furious tirade that forced the burly minister to withdraw into his shell after President Robert Mugabe supported Moyo.
Mugabe is said to have reprimanded Mpofu.
“Moyo was spitting venom using very harsh words and made disparaging remarks against Mpofu describing him as daft,” said a politburo source.
“He said it was surprising that Mpofu had the body of an elephant yet he thinks like a rat.”
Mpofu, who often hilariously and dutifully signs his official letters to Mugabe as “your most obedient son”, was also given a torrid time by Mathema who slammed him accusing him of bragging about his “ill-gotten” wealth.
Mathema is said to have accused Mpofu of being power-hungry and that he was overzealous in his attempt to be recognised as the most visible politician in Matabeleland North.
“He (Mathema) told him that people who always want to flaunt their wealth in public are thieves,” our source said.
“Mathema said Mpofu’s money did not mean anything to Zanu PF as it was being used for ulterior motives other than developing the party.”
Zanu PF’s politburo meeting was dominated by the Mudenda case.
Also discussed at length at the instigation of Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi was the case of national chairman Khaya Moyo, who also stands accused of belonging to the Mujuru camp.
“Mohadi’s case, just like Mpofu’s, was also shot down because people felt they were just being falsely labelled,” another source said.
“While it was agreed that Nyoni does belong to the Mujuru camp, the way the case was presented by Mpofu made it look like a mere smear campaign given that he had fingered Mudenda whom everyone felt was clean.
“Everyone ended up supporting Mudenda and the chairman SK benefitted alongside Nyoni and that is how they survived.”