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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 13:22 GMT
Zimbabwe's Moyo fights exclusion
Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo is fighting for his political life
Controversial Zimbabwean Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has appealed to the ruling party against being excluded from running in March elections.

It was "grossly unfair" that Zanu-PF officials reserved the Tsholotsho constituency for a woman candidate at the last moment, Mr Moyo said.

It ran counter to procedure and gave candidates no time to make other plans.

The decision is said to be linked to a row over President Robert Mugabe's choice of candidate for vice-president.


As well as Mr Moyo, those accused of campaigning against new Vice President Joyce Mujuru and now excluded from running in the parliamentary polls are six provincial party chairmen, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, and a militant war veterans' leader, Joseph Chinotimba.

President Robert Mugabe
Mugabe has moved against several prominent figures

"I believe, in all fairness and in the interest of the party and our nation, it is more than good cause that I be given the opportunity to represent the Tsholotsho community," Mr Moyo said in a letter to the Zanu-PF elections directorate quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper.

Mr Moyo is the architect of tough media laws which have seen the banning of foreign correspondents and the closure of the only private daily paper.

But he recently lost his position on Zanu-PF's national executive after reportedly attending a meeting to discuss how to block Mrs Mujuru's nomination in favour of Parliamentary Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Mugabe said last month he would only appoint elected MPs into his cabinet as ministers.

Underlying the row is a debate over who should succeed Mr Mugabe on his expected retirement in 2008.

Observers say the row is one of the worst within Zanu-PF in the past 30 years.

The main opposition party has threatened to boycott the election.

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