ZANU PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, yesterday issued a warning to his detractors in the party on his Twitter account, shortly after President Robert Mugabe on Friday ordered party officials to desist from using social media to settle internal disputes.
Mugabe, in his opening remarks at the ruling party’s conference in Masvingo on Friday, said: “As a party, we must speak with one voice. We must not settle our grievances through Twitter and Facebook.”
But, in an apparent case of defiance, Moyo was on Twitter yesterday bragging that attempts by top party members to push for his arrest would boomerang.
“All around the world in democratic and even in autocratic States, use of corrupt pretexts to arrest or jail opponents makes perfect boomerangs,” he tweeted.
The Higher and Tertiary Education minister has previously singled out and accused Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of conniving with the Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to cause his arrest and destroy him politically.
Moyo has also accused, what he termed ruling party secessionists, of using State media to fight him on social media.
“Does @HeraldZimbabwe and its secessionist handlers really believe they are not settling party matters on Twitter and abusing social media?” he asked.
“It’s simple. If @HeraldZimbabwe and other @Zimpapers outfits continue to abuse Twitter and other social media, they will get robust responses.”
Former Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial secretary for security, Batsirai Musona, yesterday said Moyo’s defiance confirms that he enjoys Mugabe’s backing.
“Moyo would not defy Mugabe like that. He does not have the stomach for that. It’s clear he has the blessings of Mugabe to stay on Twitter and attack senior party members, it’s not a coincidence,” he said.
“Mugabe is playing us, all his public statements should not be taken seriously.”
Musona, a liberation war veteran, said Moyo was likely to go unpunished over his defiance, although other “small fish” like the late women’s league administration secretary, Espinah Nhari, got suspended from the party for just chanting an anti-G40 slogan at a rally addressed by First Lady Grace Mugabe in Masvingo last year.
Nhari was a close Mnangagwa ally.
“The late Nhari was quickly reprimanded by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko in Masvingo at Grace’s rally and subsequently suspended, despite Mphoko saying G40 was a myth. I can bet that nothing will happen to Moyo,” he said.
Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, was unreachable for comment yesterday.
This is not the first time Mugabe has called on his members to stay away from Twitter and Facebook, but his calls have largely gone unheeded.
Meanwhile, Moyo, on Friday failed to mention his contentious cash donation to Zanu PF when he presented a report on how his ministry disbursed various funds under the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. – Newsday