Mugabe Appoints Jonathan Moyo To Communications Portfolio

Displaying that he is still, as he said after swearing in Morgan Tsvangirai, "firmly in charge", Mugabe has done some deft moves on Jonathan Moyo. ZANU PF insiders are still reeling from the president's latest shock move, which has been taken "subject to approval" by the party, although we know that they will now be presented with a fait accompli. They will have no option but to accept Mugabe's appointment. Independent newsrooms all over the country (all three of them) are trembling at the prospect of Moyo's antics now that he is back.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 19 September 2009

Without waiting for the so-called formal process of debating Jonathan Moyo's readmission into ZANU PF, Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has already chosen Jonathan Moyo to be his new information Supremo.

The decision was made on Thursday afternoon, I am told.

Webster Shamu, the current Minister of Information posed a bit of a problem for Mugabe, however. Shamu, formerly known as Charles Ndlovu even years after independence, was at one time editor-in-chief of The People's Voice, the ZANU PF newspaper.

Since Mugabe can not reshuffle cabinet without consulting the Prime Minister, whose ministers would also be affected by such a rearrangement, the president had to find another way.

As usual, he raised dust in order to mask his real intention.

As it was announced yesterday that Mugabe has finally appointed a Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's office (Ian Makone), he also quietly made the move to make Jonathan Moyo Communications Commissioner in the President's Office.

This was, he does not have to seek anyone's permission since it is his office to start with and he also makes all appointments.

It is interesting that, after having said there is no one qualified to be a Permanent Secretary amongst MDC candidates, Mugabe then proceeded on Friday to name Makone, an MDC official, as PermSec in the Prime Minister's office.

The hope, as is usual with Mugabe, is divert attention to the appointment of Ian Makone so that the moves on Jonathan Moyo are not looked at too closely.

As Communications Commissioner in the President's Office, I am told that Moyo will be directly answerable only to Mugabe. He is not being given cabinet status, which should tell us something.

That something is this: Mugabe does not want anything Moyo does questioned at cabinet meetings, where the MDC is still present. If they want to question him and his activities, they will have to confront Mugabe. And we all know that the MDC is rather ineffective on this score.

The Prime Minister can also not do anything to Moyo in his new role because the Professor will be directly under Mugabe's protective wings, like a hatchling.

Look, the Prime Minister is even insulted on broad daylight in the State media by the President's Spokesman, George Charamba and he can not do anything to the man. He can not discipline him nor censure him, despite Charamba being just a civil servant and Tsvangirai the Prime Minister.


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