Friday, September 25, 2009

(NEWZIMBABWE) Moyo: Why I'm rejoining Zanu PF

Moyo: Why I'm rejoining Zanu PF
24/09/2009 00:00:00

ZANU PF “is facing a Lazarus moment” and must rise from the dead if it is to remain in power, Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo (Indp) said on Thursday as he prepares a shock return to the party’s ranks after quitting in 2005.

Moyo, who once told New he would never rejoin Zanu PF, says “everything has changed” in Zimbabwe with the formation of a power sharing government led by President Robert Mugabe and former opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now the Prime Minister.

“Politics is not a religion, and political statements, even those which include the word ‘never’, are intended to highlight and dramatise a point, and not to express a gospel truth,” Moyo said in an exclusive interview with this website.

“It’s the same with scientific statements and theories, they are not permanent truth. Just like political opinions, they are true depending on the facts of the moment. The problem in politics emerges only when someone changes his or her principles, not when they change their opinions or affiliations.

“I have not changed my principles in terms of my nationalism, my belief in Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, belief in the country’s hard-won independence, the historic land reform programme and the necessity to empower Zimbabweans. At no point after leaving Zanu PF did I challenge those principles.”

Whether the former Information Minister is accepted in Zanu PF is a decision to be made by the party’s politburo, which will meet within the next two weeks.

But Moyo is already looking forward, warning the party that it must get over factional fights if it is to hold off Tsvangirai’s MDC at the next elections.

He said: “Zanu PF has made strategic errors in the last few years, and they don’t need me telling them. There has been too much focus on internal issues around succession politics and factionalism which has affected the focus of its membership.

“In the current scheme of things, any factional approach to politics is doomed to fail. So Zanu PF members must stop looking at each other from a factional point of view, but look at themselves as members of the same party.

“The party is facing a Lazarus moment, and it must rise from the dead. In politics, it is very possible to do a Lazarus, but the enormity of the task cannot be under-estimated.”

It has been reported that these factional fights will work to stop Moyo’s return to the party, with Vice President Joice Mujuru flagged as a strong opponent.

But Moyo says his relationship with Mujuru is “very cordial, and mutually respectfully not withstanding past misunderstandings which have been left there – in the past.”

As he talks, it’s hard to imagine Moyo ever left Zanu PF. Yet he maintains his walk-out in February 2005 when the party tried to block him standing for MP was real.

“There are certain people, and I am one of them,” Moyo says, “who will be always Zanu PF at heart, whatever the situation on the ground.

“It should be remembered that the circumstances that led to my departure from Zanu PF are public and have nothing to with a conflict over principles. It must also be remembered that the work that I did in Tsholotsho to assist the community and other places in Matabeleland -- getting a bank in Tsholotsho, getting a GMB depot, opening a massive irrigation scheme in the district, helping nine schools to have A’ Level status, building clinics and spearheading the construction of the Lupane State University -- all these and other related projects were done under Zanu PF and with Zanu PF people.

“The people of Tsholotsho know this. It’s only outsiders, malcontents, who will imagine it’s better if Moyo doesn’t rejoin Zanu PF.”

Moyo says part of the motivation for returning to Zanu PF is the “lonesome reality” of being an Independent “in a two party state”. But there was never a danger of joining the MDC because of “fundamental” ideological differences.

He said: “Politics is about interacting with other human beings; a serious minded politician cannot think they can make a difference working alone, it does not help the community in any way for a person to work alone.

“But from the word go, I have had problems with the MDC at the level of ideological principles … I have never had a meeting of minds with MDC on that score. I may have agreed with them on specific issues, never on the principles.

“Here are people who have invited sanctions on their country. There is nothing anyone in my country will do to make me go and invite an enemy to deal with my personal situation, that’s impossible.”

But Moyo says the four-year hiatus from Zanu PF has made him a better politician – and now has a greater understanding of the aspirations of Zimbabweans in general, and people from the Matabeleland region in particular.

Moyo said: “If I choose to work with Zanu PF, as I did before, I am not only expressing a fundamental right but also understanding the needs of the community. Zimbabweans don’t want hand-outs, but real development symbolised by roads, clinics, roads, and schools which allows them to get by in a more sustainable way.

“The politics of hampers and politics of living from hand-to-mouth which is so much part of the MDC and its connected foreign donor agencies like USAID … there’s something about it which is corrupting and disempowering, you cannot empower a community through hand-outs and turning Zimbabwe into a permanent emergency.”

But perhaps the overwhelming factor driving him back to the Zanu PF ranks is an unshakeable belief that there is still something to salvage, despite the party losing its parliamentary majority for the first time since 1980 in elections last year.

“Zanu PF can win a free election, just like the MDC cannot win a free and fair election as was shown in March 2008,” he says when asked if his move is not a gamble too far. “The MDC cannot do better than March 2008 -- that election was one election in Zimbabwe that was truly and honestly fair. Everyone who participated in it, everyone who observed it knows it was free and fair and yet the MDC couldn’t win.

“Yes they did better than previously, and indeed reduced Zanu PF’s two thirds majority into less than simple majority, but it didn’t result in a majority in parliament or winning the presidency which at the end of the day an election is all about.

“For me, the MDC have no chance in heaven of doing better than March 29, they reached their apex and from now onwards they have reached their decline.”

Moyo claims the MDC decline will be brought about by “those external forces that supported it changing their strategy, making peace with their former enemies”.

“It is very clear the MDC has been able to make it because of support of the Americans and the Europeans. Listen to what is being said at the United Nations this week, they are not talking about Zimbabwean anymore, they are not making the same noises they were making there this time last year. They are dragging their feet towards a final resolution.”

Much speculation has developed around what position Zanu PF will give Moyo when he returns. Zanu PF national chairman John Nkomo – a sworn opponent of the political maverick – has suggested he should start at “cell level”.

But New sources say Moyo will likely step in to replace Nathan Shamuyarira as Zanu PF secretary for information during or after the December Congress. Shamuyarira is reportedly keen to retire.

Moyo said: “This has nothing to do with tasks and positions, I am already a member of parliament for God’s sake! Why treat me like someone who is desperate to become MP on a Zanu PF ticket?

“I am just happy to be a member, happy to work with comrades and others who are like-minded to develop my community and country.”

Moyo makes a bold declaration that Zimbabwe will shortly be a “two party state for sometime to come”.

He added: “It’s going to be between MDC and Zanu PF and Zimbabweans have to choose. A lot of experiments have been tried and all of them have been united by their catastrophic failure.

“The MDC may survive and do better if it frees itself from its creators and funders, but it will take a whole lot of working.

“If you look at Zanu PF, the possibilities are many. If you look at the MDC, it is difficult to see them beyond Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai is at least showing signs of infatuation with nationalism, maybe because he is a former Zanu PF cadre, but these others guys … there can be no future MDC led by Eddie Cross, Roy Bennett and dangerous people like Sekai Holland who think Mzilikazi was more cruel that whites. That kind of party cannot have a future in a country like ours.”

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