No amount of dust-kicking will cover up Federation for Non-Governmental Organisations (FONGO) president Cde Goodson Nguni’s tracks linking him as the second source of a false NewsDay story that claimed President Mugabe owed sacked Zanu-PF Mashonaland East provincial chairman Mr Ray Kaukonde $30 million, it has been learnt.
Instead of explaining to Zimbabweans yearning to know his side of the story on his alleged involvement in the scandalous story, Cde Nguni chose to divert attention by casting aspersions on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and Zimpapers editors.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Cde Nguni said he was loyal to Zanu-PF and had never leaked information to the writer of the story, one Richard Chidza.
“I am a loyal member of the Zanu-PF party headed by Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I have never leaked a story to the NewsDay or to Mr Chidza. I have never had meetings with or had a teleconference with Mr Chidza over the last Politburo meeting,” Mr Nguni told journalists.
He accused Prof Moyo of pushing a Herald story yesterday linking him to the NewsDay story.
“I never had access or been advised of Politburo deliberations except what the party’s information department churns out to the public. Mr Chidza is a personal friend, but I never had discussions with him regarding some dirt involving anyone let alone the Head of State. The story that was published in The Herald was written by and on the instruction of Jonathan Moyo (Prof) who was hoping to smear another Politburo member with the story,” he said.
Cde Nguni claimed Prof Moyo was the source of the story and questioned if the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (read Commission)gave the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services the mandate to run Zimpapers and also questioned the legality of Zimpapers appointments.
However, Prof Moyo yesterday said there was no way Cde Nguni would get away with such mischief.
“There’s absolutely no need for Cde Nguni to kick up some dust in a vain effort to cover up very serious allegations published by The Herald that he’s the second-hand source to the criminal falsehood carried by NewsDay that President Mugabe allegedly told last Thursday’s Politburo meeting that he owes (Mr) Kaukonde $30m.
“I did not attend that meeting as I was busy with the by-election campaign in Tsholotsho. If Cde Nguni thinks he can get away with his mischief by doing and saying anything, then he’s like a child playing with fire.
“His response betrays someone who’s very afraid. The time has come for those who leak falsehoods and nonsense about Cabinet and Politburo proceedings to be held accountable in terms of the law,” Prof Moyo said.
Cde Nguni claimed the story was written because Prof Moyo was informed he wanted to launch a petition in the courts to enjoin and oppose the application by The Herald editor Caesar Zvayi challenging criminal defamation.
He said Zvayi also told him that Prof Moyo was the author of all anti-Zanu-PF ministers and Vice President stories which were being carried in newspapers under the Zimpapers stable.
However, Zvayi said: “It is instructive to note here that rather than respond to the issue at hand, Mr Goodson Nguni chose diversion. He needs to collect his faculties and respond to the real issue at hand, his alleged role in the NewsDay story.’’