Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mugabe was right, Moyo is ‘clever’ but not ‘wise’

By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri

Yes it’s true that Jonathan Moyo hates his past because proof lies in his writings in which he passionately castigated Robert Mugabe, the President of Zanu-PF. Moyo said and did things that he now wishes he should never have said or done.

That’s why he does not want his dirty skeletons metaphorically speaking removed from the cupboard. Fortunately, he cannot undo some of his “wrongs” especially what he wrote, it’s there for eternity and historians to analyse and sometimes laugh at.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri

Judging from his latest attempts to silence the independent press as if we have pardoned him for his retrogressive media laws e.g. AIPPA, it can be argued that he is facing tough tests of allegiance and loyalty to Zanu-PF.

Evidence that the architect of Zimbabwe’s tough media laws is under the microscope is his latest attempts to gag the Daily News and the Zimbabwe Independent by stopping them from republishing articles he wrote attacking Robert Mugabe. However, the media is fighting back.

“He hates the fact that our papers are exposing him as the unprincipled and inconsistent character that he is. He hates his writings of five years ago. You remind him of this and he unleashes his venom on you,” Alpha Media Holdings Chairman, Trevor Ncube said (Newsday, Jonathan Moyo hates his past, 14/07/11).

“It is a clear attempt (his threat of lawsuit against the Independent) to block information that he deems distasteful and an indirect way to intimidate the media into self-censorship,” Media Institute of Southern Africa director, Nhlanhla Ngwenya said (The Independent, Jonathan Moyo in bid to gag the Independent, 15/07/11). What appears to be worrying Moyo since re-joining Zanu-PF , can be narrowed into two problems: personal and party.

Topmost on what can be perceived as Moyo’s personal problems which could be the driving force in his endless search for political immunity are his unresolved issues with the Ford Foundation Kenya and the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

That could also explain his alleged presidential ambitions whereby he acts and speaks as if he is a Super- Minister or as “the President of the Republic in waiting” come “the looming danger” which he threatened recently.

Another personal crisis Moyo is facing is that of sanitising or air-brushing his self-inflicted damaged image as he appears to be having flash-backs or nightmares of something he regrets doing – his anti-Mugabe stance.

Then the party problems are mainly those of re-integration whereby he appears to be facing a credibility crisis and a crisis of confidence in the eyes of vigilant Zanu-PF hardliners who are unconvinced by his “chameleon style” tactics and lack of guerrilla war credentials other than transiting through Tanzania to the United States for his Western funded degrees.

The party has had to engage in fire-fighting tactics to douse Jonathan Moyo’s fireworks in the wake of his fiery attacks on SADC and the Mediator on Zimbabwe South African President Jacob Zuma. To some Mugabe loyalists, Moyo is “a big risk”, “incompetent” and an “unguided missile” – from online comments.

It is possible that Jonathan Moyo is facing resentment from within Zanu-PF as there has not been any internal party healing since the Tsholotsho debacle hence growing factionalism. However, rejoining Zanu-PF must have been a matter of survival for the serial flip-flopper who had to shed real tears to be pardoned five years ago. According to the BBC, Jonathan Moyo cried (yes cried) when asked if he was plotting a coup, Mugabe told a campaign rally in March 2005.

“We asked him whether he wanted to stage a coup…and tears started flowing down his cheeks,” Mugabe said in Moyo’s home districts (BBC, Mugabe ‘made ex-spin doctor cry’, 24/03/05). “He did terrible things, going to the army commander,” Mugabe told the crowd, gathered in a dusty stadium outside a beer shop owned by Moyo, the BBC said citing AFP as its source.”No Jonathan, you are clever, but you lack wisdom. You are educated, but you do not have wisdom,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe’s words seemed prophetic about Moyo because after writing “Why Mugabe should go now,” Jonathan Moyo went on to re-apply to work for the same person he was demonising with an archive of precious articles for political historians. So who is wise now? Moyo’s failure to “raise” Zanu-PF from its “Lazarus moment” is frustrating many in the party and is evidenced by a series of botched projects such as the following:

Jingles – which backfired as research later showed they are counterproductive;

•Anti-sanctions campaign – is terminally ill and abandoned for being too problematic;

•Indigenisation – backfired when parliament found it to be unconstitutional; even the promise to pay for the shares is unconvincing and too risky when the state is failing to pay 75 000 ghost workers a living wage;

•Insisting on second opinion on ghost workers – backfired because the Auditor General also confirmed there are over 10,000 ghost workers on the civil service payroll;

•Using over a thousand Chibondo skeletons – backfired, because of outraging public morals and opening Pandora’s box as some of the dead bodies had fluids suggesting they did not die 30 years ago during Ian Smith’s regime;

•Hate speech especially against President Zuma and SADC – backfired, as Zanu-PF had to embark on fence-mending diplomacy to nearly all regional leaders;

•Resisting a diamond audit, backfired as it showed there was something to hide;

•Threatening the ‘the looming danger” a military coup – backfired when some in Zanu-PF distanced themselves from the cowardly act

•Elections now or in 2016 – proving unrealistic without constitution and voters roll

With this analysis, we hope we have answered the question, “Is Jonathan Moyo regretting his anti-Mugabe stance” with a resounding “Yes”.

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, [email protected]