By Staff Reporter
PROFESSOR Jonathan Moyo is arguably one of the most social media savvy of Zimbabwe’s high-profile politicians but this Monday a momentary – and perhaps uncharacteristic – recklessness with Twitter may have cost him dearly.
The former higher education minister has been self-exiled since last November’s military coup; his exact whereabouts unclear, although it was widely speculated that he escaped to Kenya.
On Monday (or Sunday) While apparently walking to a restaurant with his chum Zhuwao, Moyo inadvertently broadcast live on Twitter their discussion which centred on the affairs of their fledgling National Patriotic Front (NPF) opposition party.
It was political dynamite. The former higher education minister was not very complementary of interim party leader Ambrose Mutinhiri and national spokesman Jealousy Mawarie, accusing both of donor funds.
The discussion exposed the duo’s Kenya hideout and, worse, problems in the NPF party regarding the abuse of funds. They appeared to suggest that former first lady Grace Mugabe was funding the party and not happy about the abuse of her cash.
Mawarire, in particular, was not amused at being called a thief.
“Put this on record,” responded Mawarire in reference to Moyo.
“If someone is a petty thief who stole even money meant for his daughter’s funeral, let alone ZIMDEF funds, that individual is surely bound to have hallucinations about people stealing.
“He (Moyo) “He dreams stealing, lives stealing and always thinks stealing.”
Zhuwao tried some damage control on Monday, penning an opinion article in which he explained how their discussion with Moyo went live on Twitter.
“I am aware of the circumstance that gave rise to that live broadcast and I wish to assure everyone that the live broadcast was a genuine accident,” he wrote.
“During my conversation with Professor Moyo, it transpired that his phone, which was in his shirt pocket, pocket dialed onto the twitter live video mode and inadvertently broadcast our discussion.
“I take responsibility for initiating the conversation. I am sorry for everything that has transpired as a result.”
He added; “The live broadcast has resulted in people being able to identify the location and route that we took as we were having that discussion.
“Effectively, the live broadcast has put our safety and security into jeopardy. I definitely know that neither Professor Moyo nor myself would wish to do that.”
Zhuwao insisted that, contrary to the impression created in his discussion with Moyo, the NPF party was not in disarray.
He apologized unreservedly to Mawarire and appealed for “forgiveness” from party colleagues.
“It is unfortunate that some people who would really like to see the NPF project crumble have sought to accentuate this discussion into a crisis by imagining that working relationships have crumbled beyond repair,” he wrote.
“I wish to conclude by requesting the forgiveness of the entire NPF family, and in particular those that that have been directly affected, hurt and injured by this unfortunate incident.
“To Comrade Mawarire, I once again sincerely tender my apologies with the hope and prayers that he will appreciate and understand that throughout our conversation, we focused on the need to account for the t-shirts and did not label him as a thief.”