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Controversy Even Within Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF Over Rehabilitation of Ex-Info Minister Moyo

The recent decision by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to readmit the former information minister Jonathan Moyo has created divisions within the former ruling party and could increase tensions in the country's unity government, sources say.

Although ZANU-PF Deputy Spokesman Ephraim Masawi told reporters that the decision by the ZANU-PF politburo was unanimous, sources in the party say its chairman, John Nkomo, stayed away from the politburo meeting last Wednesday when Moyo was rehabilitated. He is said to have clashed with party Information Secretary Nathan Shamuyarira over Moyo.

Moyo was drummed out of the party in 2005 for allegedly plotting with a dissident faction to oppose Mr. Mugabe's plans to elevate party stalwart Joyce Mujuru to the vice presidency. He was formerly a close advisor to President Mugabe on media strategies and is the author of some of the country's most draconian legislation hampering the free press.

Moyo sued Nkomo for defamation early last year alleging that he said Moyo plotted a coup during a Tsholotsho district party meeting in February 2005.

ZANU-PF sources said Moyo, considered to be aligned with Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, is likely to further divide the party. But others say Moyo will be a valuable asset for ZANU-PF as it tries to reposition itself after broad electoral setbacks in 2008.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe interviewed Moyo who said he rejoined ZANU-PF because he shares its ideological values.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...