By Robert Tapfumaneyi
EXILED former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi has accused state media of too much fixation with the G40 narrative in a desperate attempts to hype up its readership and increase sales.
He was commenting on government claims it had requested South African authorities to extradite him, together with other former Zanu PF politicians linked to the Generation 40 faction.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com from his South African base, the ex-Masvingo legislator said state media was continuously peddling the G40 stories to prop-up a declining print run.
“State papers are becoming less and less innovative. So, they have invented a solution of upping Monday sales, headline G40 in one form or the other,” he said.
“This story is so tired; it only exposes government in its lack of statecraft and its now widely acknowledged pandemic insecurity with three or so individuals.
“How such threats on extradition are announced at Zanu PF inter-district meetings by the President (Mnangagwa) exemplifies this obsession and insecurity with us.”
The former tourism and foreign affairs minister also said the national prosecuting authority was being embarrassed by such orders from Zanu PF.
“The NPA then follows doing damage control with these requests. Have we unhinged them so much?”
State media reported that government was awaiting a response from South Africa following a request to have him extradited for trial on theft and fraud charges.
According to reports, Mzembi skipped bail while on remand on charges of criminal abuse of duty and theft of trust funds involving US$847 000.
It is alleged that he committed the offences when he was Tourism Minister, and when he was spearheading Zimbabwe’s co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Conference in August 2013.
The government is also reportedly waiting to hear from Kenyan authorities on its request to have former Minister Information Jonathan Moyo extradited for allegedly diverting US$244 575 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
The same request has been made for former Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
The government is arguing the three G40 kingpins are facing criminal charges and not political as they claim.