Tito Mboweni says Zim minister 'noisy, irritating'

2015-06-17 17:54
Professor Jonathan Moyo. (AFP: File)

Professor Jonathan Moyo. (AFP: File)

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Harare - Tito Mboweni called Zimbabwe's information minister "noisy" and "irritating" - and sparked a lively Twitter war, complete with excited spectators.

The former governor of South Africa's central bank earned the delight of some in Zimbabwe late on Tuesday when he hit out at Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

"By the way, what is Jonathan Moyo professor of? He is too noisy! Irritating. Annoying. Surely he cannot speak for Zimbabweans," Mboweni tweeted.

He ploughed on: "Jonathan Moyo irritates me, writes fairy tales, shops in SA for basic things and talks such rubbish while his people suffer. Prof my foot!"

Moyo, who has just been in Cape Town to see his daughters graduate, hit back. The minister called Mboweni an "Uncle Tom" and said on Wednesday that he had "an irrational mind." "People like @ tito_mboweni think they are great stuff just because AngloSaxon liberals front them & pamper them!" Moyo tweeted.

There were lively calls for popcorn as Zimbabweans watched their minister lob carefully-crafted insults back at Mboweni. "Is this what they call a twar?" asked legal expert Alex Magaisa.

Tough press laws

Ngoni Dza Ishe tweeted: "Thank you Tito!!!" Nokholo Mhluzani wrote: "Tito Mboweni's followers skyrocket after he lambasted Zim's most popular Professor."

But some Zimbabweans were firmly on the side of Moyo, who once taught political science at the University of Zimbabwe.

Polite Ncube wrote: "You are an idiot Tito. Does he come begging in SA or he buys!"

The architect of Zimbabwe's tough press laws, Moyo is one of only a few members of President Robert Mugabe's government who are active on social media. He won a seat in his rural Tsholotsho North constituency in a by-election last week.

@BrianZW1 said: "@tito_mboweni As a Zimbabwean in PTA, i would like to buy you a beer or 2. Just for putting that Prof-by-name in his place."

The battle of words appears to have been sparked by Mboweni's call on Twitter to get "these old people" out of office in what many will have seen as a reference to Mugabe, among others. Mugabe is 91.

Moyo and Mboweni have clashed before, notably in 2001 after the then bank chief blamed Zimbabwe for fuelling the depreciation of the rand.

Moyo said then that Mboweni's comments were "ill-considered" and no different from the "usual gibberish churned out" by Zimbabwe's critics.

Read more on:    tito mboweni  |  robert mugabe  |  jonathan moyo  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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