Thursday, March 27, 2014

(NEWZIMBABWE) Moyo berates The Herald over Biti-Gono story
18/12/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

INFORMATION minister Jonathan Moyo dragged the State-run Herald newspaper over the coals Wednesday, accusing the Zanu PF-leaning publication of engaging in “political mischief propelled by cowardice&rdquo.;

Zimpapers, the Herald’s parent company, promptly announced that the paper’s editor, Caesar Zvayi, had been sent home on forced leave with “immediate effect.”

Moyo, whose ministry controls Zimpapers, was reacting to a story in the paper’s Wednesday edition which claimed that top Zanu PF officials were furious with former central bank governor, Gideon Gono.

According to the report, Gono had enraged the unnamed officials by hiring opposition MDC-T secretary general and former finance minister Tendai Biti to represent him in a Constitutional Court case where he is accused of corruption by his erstwhile adviser Munyaradzi Kereke, now an MP.

Kereke claims Gono looted millions of dollars from the central bank and wants the court to compel the anti-corruption commission to launch investigations.

Said Moyo in a statement: “The Herald’s undisguised smear campaign against Gono is based on quotations from faceless and nameless sources described as “senior Zanu PF officials and “a Zanu PF Politburo member with close ties to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces”.

“One does not need to be a rocket scientist to realise not only that the faceless and nameless sources in the unfortunate story are uncreative inventions but also that it is not possible for Kereke, who is clearly the main source of the scurrilous story, to be at one and the same time rolled into “senior Zanu PF officials” and “a Zanu PF Politburo member with close ties to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.”

The Herald also claimed that one of the Zanu PF politburo members unimpressed with Gono had close links with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).
This, Moyo said, was “totally unacceptable.”

“The Herald’s opportunistic attempt to bring the Zimbabwe Defence Forces into disrepute through Kereke’s story is not just disappointing but it is also very shocking, unprofessional and totally unacceptable,” he said.
In any case, there was nothing amiss about Gono’s decision to hire Biti, Moyo added.

“It should be understood in the clearest of terms that, like any other Zimbabwean, Gono is entitled under our Constitution to choose his own lawyer,” he said.

“It is trite to mention that lawyers are trained professionals whose appearance in the courts is governed by legal rules and not by politics or similar mumbo jumbo.

“As such, the notion that there are Zanu PF lawyers and MDC lawyers is a sad commentary on our national politics whose polarisation has gone way too far.

“It might be a strategic masterstroke for Gono to have chosen Biti as his lawyer, since the move effectively means that Biti, who is mentioned as a player in the court papers, is now unavailable to Kereke as a potential witness in the Constitutional Court case in question.”
Again, personal links between MDC-T and Zanu PF officials were not new, the minister added.

“In any event, the hullaballoo over Gono’s selection of the secretary-general of MDC as his lawyer pales into insignificance when compared to the fact that there are, many marriages between Zanu PF and MDC members, some of which are quite high-profile,” he said.
“Surely, what is good for the bedroom must also be good for the court-room.”

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