I was not the brains behind Grace Mugabe, Jonathan Moyo says


Former Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo says suggestions that he was the brains behind former First Lady Grace Mugabe are preposterous because that would have meant coming between President Robert Mugabe and his wife.

In an interview with Alex Magaisa, Moyo said: “It’s news to me that you say many saw me as the brains behind Mrs Mugabe. But the presumption that anyone, especially a person like me could become the brains behind Mrs Mugabe is preposterous and can only come from people who know nothing useful about Mrs Mugabe and especially about President Mugabe.

“Becoming the brains behind Mrs Mugabe would have meant coming between the President and his spouse. That would have been reckless and suicidal.

“This equally applies to the notion that I should have restrained Mrs Mugabe. As who? Surely, only her husband and family members could do that.

“In any event, my respect for President Mugabe would never have allowed me to poke my nose into his family. Never.”

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

BSR: Mrs Mugabe took centre stage in the firing of both vice presidents, Joice Mujuru in 2014 and Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2017. It worked in the case of Mujuru but backfired spectacularly in the case of Mnangagwa as the tables were turned against Mugabe. Many people thought Mrs Mugabe took it too far in both cases. You went along to most of her rallies and many saw you as the brains behind the instrument that she was. Were her actions part of the plan or she was a loose cannon? Did you have any misgivings about her approach? Did you ever try to restrain her?

ANSWER: I am aware of the view that Mrs Mugabe took centre stage in the firing of both Joice Mujuru in 2014 and Mnangagwa in 2017 but I think the view is not entirely correct. The movers and shakers and the brains behind the firing of Joice Mujuru in 2014 were Chiwenga and Mnangagwa.  They did this as part of their 2008 succession handshake. Mrs Mugabe was their recruit in 2014 but she was not the main player. It’s important to understand that in 2014, Chiwenga, Mnangagwa, and President Mugabe acted in and with a common purpose against Joice Mujuru in 2014. While Mrs Mugabe did hold rallies and said some tough and even nasty things against Joice Mujuru, she did not take centre stage in Mujuru’s firing. The three men did the job with a supporting cast that had others, including me as then information minister. This too is a story yet to be properly told.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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