President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s alleged tussle with his deputy, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga for the control of the ruling ZANU PF party has reportedly spilt into the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).
Reports claim that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are in a fierce battle to control the ruling party and government.
Mnangagwa recently restructured the NPRC, a supposedly independent commission whose mandate is to address the country’s past conflicts, including Gukurahundi.
Mnangagwa demoted NPRC vice-chairperson Lillian Chigwedere, a suspected Chiwenga loyalist, and replaced her with Reverend Chiropafadzo Moyo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Moyo was an ordinary commissioner before her elevation by Mnangagwa.
Meanwhile, Chiwegedere has been acting as NPRC chairperson in the past few months in the absence of ailing Retired Justice Selo Maselo Nare.
She is one of the two commissioners retained from the previous commission, whose term of office expired early this year.
NPRC spokesperson Obert Gutu confirmed Moyo’s promotion to NewsDay but declined to comment on Chigwedere’s issue. Said Gutu:
I can confirm the Reverend Dr Chiropafadzo Moyo is the new vice-chairperson of the NPRC.
But on the issue of why there are such changes, I cannot comment. I am just a spokesperson and I can’t comment on that.
NewsDay reported sources as saying Moyo was strategically positioned at the top NPRC post to guard against possible threats on Mnangagwa’s office within the commission.
Mnangagwa has been cited as a key player in the Gukurahundi atrocities between 1982 and 1987 as he was State Security minister at the time. Said a NewsDay source:
She (Moyo) is not only now influential in the commission, but she will enjoy heft salary benefits.
There is a huge salary gap between the chairperson and the vice-chairperson and also a commissioner.
Now that she (Moyo) has been elevated from being a commissioner to become the vice-chair, it means her package has also been raised.
When contacted for comment, Chigwedere refused to comment on the developments saying she was not feeling well.