War Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa has made a sensational claim that Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo is allegedly the son of Zanu founding president, the late veteran nationalist, Ndabaningi Sithole.
His remarks come at a time when the two are engaged in a bitter war of words over succession battles in the ruling party.
Mutsvangwa recently told the local press that Moyo, who accused him of allegedly stealing and selling women’s underwear during the war of liberation of the 1970s, was Sithole’s nephew.
But now Mutsvangwa alleges that the Tsholotsho-born Moyo is a love child of the late veteran politician. Moyo and members of the Sithole family were not reachable for comment.
Mutsvangwa made the claims Thursday in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, at a workshop designed to realign the war veterans’ constitution.
The war veterans’ minister, who was guest of honour, deviated from his prepared speech and attacked Moyo, accusing him of allegedly being used by some unnamed Western countries to destroy President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party.
Mutsvangwa claimed the he has evidence that the Higher Education Minister is the son of the late Sithole and challenged him to go for a DNA test if he is denying these allegations.
Pressed by journalists to clarify his assertions on the sidelines of the workshop, Mutsvangwa said he stood by his remarks and was prepared to meet Moyo in court.
He further alleged that Moyo is said to have fleeced his stepmother, he identified as Venor, of some radio receivers.
Close associates of the Sitholes claim that there is no one with that name in their family. Sithole was married to the late Vestor.
Political analyst, Butlter Tambo, said the conflict between these senior government officials is part of the succession battle in the ruling party.
Mutsvangwa’s claims follow Moyo’s recent attack on him, alleging that the war veterans’ leader was a “rogue successionist” and was a – quote - “petticoat thief” during the liberation struggle.
Moyo has claimed that Mutsvangwa is a close associate of presidential spokesman, George Charamba, whom he attacked recently for allegedly supporting so-called successionists he said were attempting to topple President Mugabe.
Charamba and Mutsvangwa are believed to be close associates of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is allegedly habouring presidential ambitions and is engaged in a bitter war with Young Turks calling themselves the Generation 40 or G40, backing First Lady Grace Mugabe for Zimbabwe’s top most political post.
The spat between Mutsvangwa and Moyo typifies the factional fights within the ruling party as the battle to succeed President Mugabe intensifies.
But Mutsvangwa dismissed the observation that the infighting could ultimately destroy Zanu PF, saying the ruling party had weathered bigger storms in the past.
President Mugabe, who is expected to be the ruling party’s presidential candidate in 2018, turns 92 this month, making him the oldest president in the world.