ZANU PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has challenged Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to come clean over his recent “reckless utterances” and disparaging remarks, suggesting the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was a sell out and that he lost the 1980 elections because of his alleged soft spot for whites.
Mnangagwa accused of being the mastermind of the 1980 mass killings of over 20 000 people in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces dubbed Gukurahundi, recently touched a raw political nerve, when he claimed in an interview with New African magazine, that Nkomo represented the interests of the white minority.
The Zanu PF Midlands “godfather” claimed this was revealed to him by the late former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith soon after independence.
Several current and former Zanu PF stalwarts, among them, politburo member Jonathan Moyo, Cephas Msipa and Zapu leader Dumiso
Dabengwa have come out guns blazing, demanding Mnangagwa retract his statements, claiming the remarks were meant to demean the late Father’s Zimbabwe’s immense contribution to the liberation struggle.
Khaya Moyo yesterday joined the debate dismissing the claims as lies and urged Mnangagwa to prove his claims.
“If it’s true that he [Mnangagwa] said so, then the person who said it and all those who are in the know of that part of history must provide more details. Anyone who believes that, [Nkomo was a sell out] honestly, after all these years after independence, must give us more details as to how Nkomo became a sellout and prove the suggestions with empirical evidence,” he said.
Khaya Moyo served as Nkomo’s top aide and special adviser — just as Mnangagwa was to President Robert Mugabe — during and after the liberation war.
“As far as we know the history of this country, that is a lie and we will need someone to give us details of the sell out aspect on the part of Cde Father Zimbabwe. As we know it, the country’s independence was brought about by two iconic leaders, who led two brave and determined formations which are, Zanla and Zipra. Cde Mugabe led Zanla and Cde Nkomo led Zipra. It is these two men who led the armed struggle and for anyone to suggest that one of them was a sell out is very unfortunate. That’s why I am saying those who are saying so must give us more details on what they are suggesting or saying.”
He added that had Nkomo been a sell out, as was being suggested, he would have not agreed to sign the Unity Accord of 1987 to end the Gukurahundi massacres and bring the two parties together.
“These two leaders, whom we are talking about today, went on to sign the Unity Accord because they had, and still Cde Mugabe has, the interests of Zimbabwe at heart. It is because of this great event that we are enjoying peace and tranquillity as a country. So for me, and for many of us in the party, we would want those who are saying he was a sell out to give us more details and evidence,” he said.
Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday fired another salvo directed at Mnangagwa.
“There’s no context or situation under which Joshua Nkomo can be put in the same basket as these Rhodie sellouts,” Moyo wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter referring to UANC leader Abel Muzorewa, Zanu Ndonda leader Ndabaningi Sithole and Chief Chirau.
“The innuendo that the late VP Nkomo was a sell-out like [Chief] Chirau is offensive and unacceptable.”
Moyo has of late turned Mnangagwa into his favourite punching bag. Last week, he lampooned the Vice-President over a comment the latter made in the same interview insinuating Mugabe would be missed.
“We shall miss him greatly,” Mnangagwa told the UK-based New African magazine.
Moyo picked up on the slip, retorting: “VP Mnangagwa on President Mugabe: ‘We shall miss him dearly’. Rather premature to say! The inevitable is the truth of everyone and so there is no telling who is going to die before who. Of course death is certain, but how does anyone know who is going to die first and, therefore, who is going to miss who?”
Prior to that, Moyo had in an earlier interview on BBC’s Hard Talk programme made it clear that being Vice-President did not make Mnangagwa Mugabe’s heir apparent.
Mnangagwa could not be reached for comment. newsday