Zanu (PF) hawks gun for Speaker

Intelligence sources said Moyo was the next target of the Zanu (PF) plan that had already seen more than 10 legislators from the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai being arrested for various crimes ranging from petty thefts and rape to inciting public violence and playing protest music.

The sources said the latest stage of the plan would target and tarnish the MDC heavyweights, starting with Moyo before moving to the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe, secretary general and finally Tsvangirai.

“Officers have been assigned to monitor the activities of the MDC top four. The ultimate goal is to ensure that targets are destroyed as a credible force,” said a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Moyo got a taste of the well-oiled Zanu (PF) scheme – which also includes a partisan state media – when details of his 12-month stay in a five-star Harare hotel were splashed in the press last week.

It is alleged that Moyo had been staying at the luxury Meikles Hotel for US$6 000 a month since he took over as Speaker of the House at the end of August last year and only checked out at the beginning of September this year after Parliament secured a house to rent for him at US$1 800 per month.

The state media also alleges that before Moyo moved out of the plush hotel, the ministry of finance bought the Speaker furniture worth US$30 000 for his house.

The CIO source said more dirty details would soon emerge about Moyo, with the ultimate goal of ejecting him from his position as Speaker of Parliament and installing someone acceptable to Zanu (PF).

Zanu (PF), with the assistance of independent Member of Parliament Jonathan Moyo, has been pushing for the nullification of Lovemore Moyo’s election as Speaker on the grounds that the poll was flawed because the secret ballot papers were revealed to other legislators.

The MDC chairman beat former parliamentarian Paul Themba-Nyathi, whose candidacy for the Speaker’s post was sponsored by his party, the breakaway faction of the MDC led by Mutambara. He enjoyed the full backing of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.

The legal challenge means the MDC’s control of Parliament stands doubtful in the face of the constitutional court challenge against the election of its national chairman which the applicants claim was in contravention of Article 6 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders.

Moyo was elected Speaker by a surprising 110 votes to the 98 clinched by Themba-Nyathi, following a surprise change in allegiance on the part of the 10 MPs representing the breakaway faction of the MDC as parliamentarians cast their ballot.

The High Court has indefinitely reserved judgement in the case.

With elections expected in two years, the Zanu (PF) machinery is working at full throttle to position the former ruling party for a comeback after the sensational defeat at the hands of the MDC in last year’s harmonised polls.

“The plot goes beyond digging unpleasant personal details of key MDC figures but also dragging them into one crisis after another on the economic front so that they lose all credibility among their supporters and backers,” the CIO source said.

The revelations of the Zanu (PF) plot came a few weeks after the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe told our sister paper, The Zimbabwean On Tuesday, that CIO operatives and militias linked to the former ruling party were forcing its members to join a strike organised by the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA).

The industrial action was later called off last month after ZIMTA reached an agreement with the government. (The Zimbabwean)