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Prof Moyo steps out

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INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday had his first public engagement after the weekend tirade against him by President Robert Mugabe over Zanu PF factionalism.

EVERSON MUSHAVA
CHIEF REPORTER

Moyo stepped out to tour the British American Tobacco (BAT) plant in Harare in a scheduled engagement.

Observers had started writing Moyo off after Mugabe on Friday took advantage of former Information minister Nathan Shamuyarira’s funeral wake to take a dig at the shrewd political scientist for allegedly using State media to divide the fractious party.

Mugabe called Moyo a devil incarnate and the following day at Shamuyarira’s burial made reference to weevils that were “eating” Zanu PF from within.

However, yesterday the former Tsholotsho North MP was conducting his duties as a government official touring cigarette producer BAT.
Moyo did not speak to journalists during the tour, leaving the BAT management to explain the purpose of the tour.

BAT managing director Lovemore Manatsa said the company invited Moyo as a part of its engagement programme to prove to the government that the firm was not divesting from Zimbabwe.

“That was the basis of engaging the minister, to ensure that stakeholders appreciate what we are doing. We are not divesting anywhere,” he said.

Manatsa added that the company had crafted an indigenisation model where workers were now shareholders and would do anything in its capacity to remain afloat serving the local market.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who at the weekend reportedly urged party youths to use gamatox (poison to kill weevils), yesterday refused to comment on Moyo’s fate.

He referred questions to Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo who has said the matter was personal.

Moyo today is expected to give a keynote address at a Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe workshop.

Tomorrow he will tour the Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant in Manicaland.

Mugabe has in the past spoken openly about his admiration for Moyo who is credited for saving him from the jaws of defeat in 2008.

Moyo has also been singled out as the brains behind Zanu PF’s 2008 election campaign that saw the party pull out a surprise emphatic victory over the MDC formations.

However, the two have always had an uneasy relationship with Mugabe dismissing Moyo from his Cabinet in 2005 in the aftermath of the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration.

A Zanu PF faction reportedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru is said to be unhappy about Moyo’s use of the public media to fight the factional wars.

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