By Costa Nkomo
GOVERNMENT has dispelled social media reports it had opened doors for G40 kingpin and ex-Cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo and other exiled members of the now decimated Zanu PF faction to return home for former President Robert Mugabe’s funeral.
Generation 40, as the faction was commonly referred to, was a Zanu PF camp that was once fiercely opposed to then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ambitions to succeed Mugabe.
The camp was seen as backing what had become an attempt by then First Lady Grace’s bid to take over from her husband, who succumbed to an undisclosed ailment in Singapore Friday at the age of 95.
Other key members of the group that was involved in a nasty power scrap that was only undone by a military coup in November 2017 included Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwawo, then Local Government Minister Saviour Kusukuwere and one time Manicaland Provincial Minister Mandi Chimene.
Social media was awash with claims that Mnangagwa had issued a blanket amnesty to allow the exiled former Cabinet Minister to return home at least for Mugabe’s burial.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Nick Mangwana told NewZimbabwe.com that the claims were untrue.
“There are no charges against Patrick Zhuwawo and I am not aware of any charges against Mandi Chimene so there is no reason for them not to come and mourn former President Mugabe.
“When it comes to Patrick Zhuwawo, he is certainly free to come and mourn his uncle and if he wants to go back (into exile) then he can do so. But if he chooses to stay, nothing stands in his way,” Mangwana said.
He was however mum on former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo who has taken the fight against Mnangagwa to social media from his base reportedly Kenya.
Moyo continues to oppose Mnangagwa at every turn and has since taken sides with the opposition.
In the run-up to the November 2017 implosion, Moyo had faced charges of abuse of office related to the alleged pilfering of over US$400 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
The G40 faction was scattered when Mugabe was placed under house arrest by the army, facilitating Mnangagwa’s return from his brief exile in South Africa and power seizure.
Moyo has claimed he escaped death by a whisker after the military stormed his home firing live ammunition in all directions.
Kasukuwere has since skipped bail after being arrested on charges of corruption while Zhuwawo also skipped the border in the mayhem that followed the shock military intervention.
He has not returned ever since.
Mnangagwa has blamed the G40 for an alleged assassination attempt on his life in the run-up to the July 2018 election during a campaign rally in Bulawayo’s White City Stadium an incident that claimed at least two state security aides with a dozen injured.
The new Zanu PF leader has also blamed elements close to Mugabe of fanning violence in the country by hijacking protests called by labour federation the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in January this year that left 17 people dead.