Lloyd Gumbo and Tendai Mugabe
Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday evaded questions as to why he posted a list of alleged donations made by President Mugabe to Tsholotsho flood victims, excluding 1 000 bags of maize-meal as announced by Matabeleland North Provincial Minister of State Cde Cain Mathema. He chose to be abusive in his response to inquiries by The Herald saying he had not generated any tweet listing the donations.
He said he only posted public information that was compiled by the Tsholotsho Rural District Civil Protection Unit and as announced by Cde Mathema.
In written responses, Prof Moyo said: “Please note that there’s nothing on my Twitter feed that created or originated any information that the President made any donation to flood victims in Tsholotsho.
“The public record will show that the information to that effect was in fact publicly made in Tsholotsho at Sipepa transit camp for flood victims by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Matabeleland North, Cde Cain Mathema, on 24 February 2017 and reported the next day on 25 February 2017 by your Bulawayo sister paper, the Chronicle which said:
“President Mugabe has donated 1 000 bags of mealie-meal and groceries to about 1 000 villagers displaced by floods in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North amid reports that about 2 000 homesteads have been destroyed by rains, leaving 635 families homeless countrywide.”
He added: “Because all of this is public information, first publicly announced by Cde Mathema and reported by the Chronicle without your questioning, your question in your text message today as to where I got the information that the President made any donation to flood victims in Tsholotsho exposes The Herald’s now idiotic smear campaign against me.
“As such, The Herald can go to hell. It’s evil agenda is now so apparent and so moronic that nobody is fooled by it anymore.”
Political analysts slated Prof Moyo for deliberately posting the list, saying it was meant to embarrass the President.
The public was led to believe that the donations, which were attributed toPresident Mugabe, never covered any basic needs of the affected people.
Presidential spokesman, Mr George Charamba was quoted dismissing his boss from the donations.
The list in question on Prof Moyo’s Twitter account, which was later updated, portrayed President Mugabe as having donated snacks, mineral water and biscuits only. Prof Moyo, who is the Member of Parliament for Tsholotsho North, on March 11 tweeted a list of donations captioned: “Update of donations to flood victims in Wards 6, 7 & 8 in Tsholotsho received with thanks by the District Civil Protection Unit this week!”
On that list, it is indicated that President Mugabe had only donated 1 000 packs of snacks, 1 000x500ml mineral water and 1 000x2kg biscuits. The private media fed on the tweet to write stories denigrating President Mugabe for the supposed donation.
In apparent response to the stories, Prof Moyo tweeted another list which included 10 tonnes of maize and 1 000×12, 500ml fruit juice that President Mugabe allegedly donated together with snacks, mineral water and biscuits.
On the March 15 list that Prof Moyo tweeted, it is noted that the donation was announced by Matabeleland North Minister of State, Cde Cain Mathema on February 24 and delivered the following day.
How Prof Moyo tweeted a list minus the 10 tonnes of maize-meal attributed to President Mugabe on March 11, when all the goods had been delivered on February 25, is what has raised eyebrows, prompting observers to describe the tweet as mischievous.