Jealousy Mawarire, writing for Nehanda Radio claimed that Gappah, 47 and Jabangwe were both hired by competing factions within Zimbabwe government to prepare President Mnangagwa’s team ahead of the Davos meeting and later rubbed each other uncomfortably, with one trying to outdo the other in order to impress Mnangagwa.
Recommendations were then made by George Charamba to ensure that Gappah is barred from travelling with Mnangagwa team. However , according to sources, Edwin Manikai pleaded with Mnangagwa to allow Gappah to travel to Davos.
Unemployed Gappah during the Davos preparations gave a misleading impression that she was doing voluntary work, implying that it was free and for the love of country. Gappah also gave an impression that she is employed by World Trade Organisation.
She blew her cover when a Facebook fan made a comment ” You are amazing Petina. You are not paid and you do this all for the love of your country”.
Gappah had to correct this because she realises there are people who know she is being paid. She confesses but avoids mentioning that she is being paid, only saying it’s not by the government raising a question is who is paying her and what is their interest?
Mawarire, further alleges that Gappah while in Davos clashed with Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba, since she had taken over the press secretary duties.
“So intense was the friction that former security elements in the junta began to accuse Gappah of being “a weevil” that was breaking “security protocol” due to her ‘unorthodox’ way of doing things and her perceived unfettered access to the President”, writes Mawarire.
Another insider who travelled with Mnangagwa team said, Gappah did not have a role of technical expert. Instead, she was actually interviewing Ministers and writing. And together with Vimbai Kajese, they are the ones who have been given rein to ask questions and shutting out Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporations and Herald crew outside.
In 2013, Gappah heavily criticised former editor of the New Zimbabwe.com news website founding editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu, when he left the UK to joined Zimpapers.