Nkosana Moyo blames politicians for Zimbabwe’s problems
By Thami Zhou
Zimbabwe’s new entrant in the 2018 presidential election – Dr Nkosana Moyo says Zimbabwe needs a new kind of politics that will stop the ongoing suffering that has left the country with 90 per cent unemployment.
In a wide ranging speech delivered at the Royal Institute of International Affairs or Chatham House in London, and attended by the U.S and Canadian embassies, Moyo said it is time for a 50-50 cabinet allocation between men and women as well as giving a chance to the youth to participate in politics.
Moyo said politicians have over the years connived to divide Zimbabweans into tribes, political parties and classes.
Moyo said Zimbabwe is where it is today because democracy has been eroded with state institutions like the army, the police, the judiciary and the CIO having been captured by a political party.
“The immediate consequence is that these institutions are no longer protecting the citizens but to protect ZANU,” Moyo said.
He said ZANU members are treated as first class citizens and have access to opportunities while opposition supporters are treated like second class citizens.
On the economy, Moyo said there is a continuing lack of clarity on the role of government. He said the government should not be both a referee and a player. He said the confusion and conflict of interest must be removed.
Moyo also said he will look at the size of the civil service wage bill and eliminate any ghost workers.
He said in Zimbabwe, the current government ‘has no clue” on how to grow the economy.
He said under his leadership, the country will “put across policies that attract investment.”
Moyo said leaders must walk the talk and his plan is to reduce the size of the government.
“Zimbabwe cannot justify a government of more than thirty ministers,” he said.
He said his cabinet will have a maximum of 20 members and will not have any deputy ministers. He however wants to introduce junior ministers made up of the youth ( under 35 years old.) This, he said, will be an apprenticeship for future leaders. He added that innovation and technological advancement will depend on how much space is created for the younger generation.
Moyo said political conflict is taking the country back: “We want Zimbabweans to understand that competition should not be a war.” He said he disagreed with President Robert Mugabe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai but “that doesn’t mean they are enemies.”
On the rural vote, Moyo said all citizens must be given the benefit of the doubt and be respected. He said his parents could not read but that does not mean they could not understand issues. He said there is no evidence that any section of the Zimbabwean society needs to be ‘educated’ to know solutions to their problems.
On foreign policy, Moyo said his government would be guided by the needs of Zimbabwe and those in the Diaspora will be treated as essential contributors to the economy. He said Zimbabwe does not need the number of embassies it currently has because it cannot afford all of them.
Moyo said it is unlikely that ZANU will allow the diaspora vote but those living abroad should try and influence their relatives back home to bring about political change. He paid tribute to the role played by the Zimbabweans living away from home asserting that they have kept Zimbabwe economically afloat through remittances.
Moyo bemoaned the failure by Africans to have a voice. He said that is because most leaders are not competent in what they do. He said he would be different and wants to convince Zimbabweans during the campaign that his vision is a better vision than that of his rivals.
On the subject of his business links, Moyo said he has resigned from the various global corporate boards that he was part of in order to avoid conflict of interest. He said he is in the process of handing over the leadership of the Mandela Institute of Development that he founded.
On funding the election campaign, Moyo said he will only rely on resources from Zimbabweans. He said it was wrong for an election to be seen as a money making project and it is part of the culture that needs to change. He said he had demonstrated that he could live within his means by refusing to fly business class when he was a minister in Zimbabwe. He said he also refused to be treated as a VIP when travelling in Zimbabwe when he was industry and trade chief.
When he was challenged on his chances, Moyo said he has faith in Zimbabweans and believes there is enough time to campaign. He gave an example of the recent election in Britain where opinion polls and results changed in a short time.
He said he saw his candidacy as the beginning of a process that will be continued by other Zimbabweans who will take over from him.