Authoritative sources within ZANU PF, speaking on condition they were not named, said fissures between two rival camps, one led by former army commander Solomon Mujuru and the other by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa – who are embroiled in a mortal fight to take over Mugabe’s job when he steps down, have opened up in recent weeks with Moyo’s possible return to the party.

While the faction led by ZANU PF secretary for legal affairs Mnangagwa is said to be vigorously pushing for Moyo’s unconditional admission to the party which fired him nearly five years ago for defying a party directive, the Mujuru camp is understood to be resisting manoeuvres to fast-track the return of the former media hangman.

The Mnangagwa camp is said to have convinced Mugabe that Moyo was the vital cog lacking in the ZANU PF propaganda machinery against a media suave Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which has launched a number of newsletters to counter ZANU PF’s crude propaganda churned through state-controlled media.

“We want him. He knows how to deal with these MDC T greenhorns. Check how he is taking Tendai Biti to pieces in his several writings in the state media. This is what we need when faced by an enemy sponsored by the imperialists,” said a ZANU PF senior politburo member, adding that Moyo’s application was submitted to the politburo – the party’s supreme decision-making organ – last month.

But another politburo member said Moyo’s unconditional admission would set a bad precedent for ZANU PF. He said people were angry that “the spoilt brat” was being considered for readmission to the party despite not apologising publicly for rubbishing Mugabe and ZANU PF after he was dismissed.

Moyo was fired by Mugabe from the government after a failed 2004 plot –hatched at Tsholotsho in southern rural Zimbabwe – to block the appointment of Joice Mujuru as Vice-President, placing her ahead of the pack to succeed Mugabe was uncovered.

“Why is a fellow who has shown disrespect and disregard of the party being treated differently from others. He was the brains behind Tsholotsho and you know what that scheme was meant to achieve,” he said.   

Moyo is said not to see eye to eye with the Mujuru camp as well as with ZANU PF national chairman John Nkomo. Moyo took Nkomo to court after he was fired by ZANU PF for standing as an independent candidate in the March 2005 general elections.

While ZANU PF is divided over his re-entry into the party he has once described “as dead and ready to be buried by the MDC”, insiders claimed yesterday however that his application was on the verge of sailing through.

Both the ZANU PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, one of Mugabe’s chief negotiators, confirmed Moyo had submitted his application.

“I don’t see what the fancy is about with his application. He is seeking to come back to the revolutionary party. I have said it before and I am saying it now, I personally have no problems with it. I have the application and it is up to us to admit,” Mutasa.

Chinamasa said; “I wish him well and hope to work with him again.”

Moyo and Chinamasa were in the fore-front of demonisation of the MDC in 2000 after the two were parachuted into the Cabinet as non-constituency members of parliament by Mugabe.

Other sources claimed that Nkomo, who chairs the disciplinary committee of the party, was unhappy that some of his comrades wanted to overrule standing regulations by wanting to fast-track Moyo’s re-admission.

There were also questions why Moyo lodged his application after the death of Vice President Joseph Msika.

“We find this in bad taste if not callous,” said a ZANU PF central committee member. Nkomo declined to comment. 

Moyo, the only independent candidate in the House of Assembly, was the architect of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act used to shut down four newspapers, including The Daily News, and the Broadcasting Services Act that has kept the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s monopoly intact. – ZimOnline