LOCAL Government minister July Moyo (pictured) is dishing out donations in the dormitory town of Redcliff amid reports that the Midlands Zanu PF godfather has resumed campaigns to regain the peri-urban parliamentary seat which he lost to an opposition party novice in the 2018 elections.
Moyo is a senior politician touted as one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s strategists. He has been a Mnangagwa loyalist for long despite recent reports of a fallout.
Before the 2017 military coup, which ousted the then president Robert Mugabe, Moyo was publicly chastised by the then first lady Grace Mugabe for spearheading a plot to topple the long-time ruler.
However, despite a huge campaign war chest in 2018, Moyo was trounced in his bid for the Redcliff parliamentary seat by the then MDC-Alliance’s Lloyd Mukapiko (pictured).
At that time, Mukapiko was a graveyard assistant whose job was to allocate graves at the council-run Kwekwe Cemetery.
Mukapiko once worked as a pest control general hand and is a self-taught bricklayer.
The NewsHawks gathered that Moyo was recently in Redcliff where he made cash donations to the Lutheran Church in Rutendo suburb and handed over a borehole accompanied by senior Zanu PF officials and Vongai Mupereri, Mnangagwa’s nephew.
Minister Moyo also pledged to build a house for the church’s pastor.
When contacted for comment, Moyo confirmed making the donations, but claimed it was just out of benevolence and not motivated by politics.
When in Kwekwe, Moyo stays in the Sherwood area where he has a farm and, while it is far from Redcliff, he does not attend church services as a parishioner at Rutendo Lutheran Church.
Rutendo is a densely populated suburb located adjacent Redcliff which as a whole constituency encompasses some rural wards of Silobela and resettlement farms such as Amatava near Mvuma which were invaded by war veterans during the fast-track land reform exercise.
Zanu PF members in Redcliff view Moyo’s donations as part of his 2023 election campaign. Moyo however said his donations were not political.
“I am a member of that church. I was baptised in the Lutheran Church so I mobilised those resources for our pastor and the community. It had nothing to do with the party,” he said.
Redcliff has perennial water challenges as its supplier, Kwekwe City Council, often cuts off water supplies over a big debt overhang running into millions of dollars incurred by the ailing Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company before it folded.
Ahead of the 2018 elections, Moyo tried to turn the water crisis into a campaign issue by drilling boreholes in Redcliff constituency after having entered into a deal with Zvishavane-based Makanaka Investments Company owned by Zanu PF stalwart Antony Clever Pote.
After he was drubbed in the 2018 elections, Moyo abandoned some of the projects midway.
In Harare, he fell out with mayor Jacob Mafume and residents over the Pomona garbage deal that sought to draw millions of dollars from the local authority for the next two-and-a-half decades before it was cancelled.
Netherlands-registered company Geogenix BV, which is at the centre of the controversial Pomona waste-to-energy deal, is fronted locally by Delish Nguwaya, an ally of Mnangagwa’s family.