WASHINGTON DC —
President Robert Mugabe attacked Information Minister Jonathan Moyo saying he is divisive and attempting to destroy the party from within.
Mr. Mugabe told mourners at the funeral wake of the late Information Minister Nathan Shamuyarira that Moyo is a counter-revolutionary, who has hired journalists that were fierce critics of Zanu PF.
According to the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), President Mugabe further said Zanu-PF is a “party of simple people who do not need intellectuals to cheat them.”
He branded his information minister a "devil incarnate", accusing him of appointing editors of state-owned newspapers who were sympathetic to the opposition.
Reuters quoted Mr. Mugabe as saying, "I am saying this in light of what is happening now. When you have our minister of information wanting to pit people one against another, you don't do things like that.”
"I am saying this because all the men that we had, who were leading the newspapers, were fired and replaced by those from the MDC. You were all thinking you had a trusted person," he said, referring to Moyo, adding that the minister was in fact "a devil incarnate".
Critics say the president’s succession battle is now being fought in the state-controlled media where Mr. Mugabe appointed at least two journalists that were based overseas before the 2013 national elections.
He suspended Happison Muchechetere, the chief executive of the ZBC, accusing him of earning a hefty salary while workers were not being paid.
Vice President Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are said to be leading two factions vying to succeed the 90-year old president, who has been in power for more than 34 years.
Mr. Mugabe has stated in the past that the two are not the clear favourites to succeed him as the race is open to all Zanu-PF members.
The party holds its congress at the end of this year with the post of president and first secretary of the party up for grabs.
Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya tells Studio 7’s Blessing Zulu that President Mugabe’s remarks are part of part of the succession process in the ruling party.
Meanwhile, the late Information and Foreign Affairs Minister, Nathan Shamuyarira, was laid to rest Saturday at the National Heroes Acre.
Independent political analyst George Mkwananzi told VOA Studio 7 the national shrine is currently not benefiting all Zimbabweans.