Jonathan Moyo and ZANU PF: Why Now?
Professor Jonathan Moyo campaigning in Tsholotsho in March last year. We met up with him at the Growth Point in the area as Simba Makoni addressed a gathering there. It was clear that Moyo was going through the constituency with a fine tooth comb, traversing it in a Landcruiser and going to every hamlet and village. Makoni carried Tsholotsho and Moyo was also reelected. Many people still fail to see the deeper meaning of his move to return to ZANU PF.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 September 2009
It is now confirmed that Jonathan Moyo has applied to go back to ZANU PF.
He will be readmitted, since every single ZANU PF minister, from Didymus Mutasa to Patrick Chinamasa, are all singing his praises.
But why is the Professor seeking to go back now? This is a question I have been asked in emails to me the last few days and the answer is simple enough.
Professor Jonathan Moyo's ouster from ZANU PF was engineered by none other than the late Vice-president Joseph Msika, who labeled the then Minister of Information a "mafikizolo". (Johnny-come-lately).
In essence, therefore, and to put it bluntly, Moyo is now applying to go back to ZANU PF because Msika is dead. There will be no one whispering in Mugabe's ear that Moyo should not be allowed back into the party.
Mugabe was genuinely fond of the Vice-President and this informed his decision to get rid of Moyo. Msika did not attend that meeting because of the bad blood between them.
The bad blood between the two was caused by the fact that, even now, Jonathan Moyo believes that he should be one of the two Vice-presidents of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's second Vice-presidency is always occupied by someone from Matabeleland. This goes back to the Unity deal between Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo in 1987.
Moyo believed that he did more for ZANU PF than Msika ever did. He is convinced that with his undisputed intellect, he should be rewarded for saving Mugabe and ZANU PF in the elections of 2002.
When Moyo left ZANU PF, it was only because Msika gave Mugabe an ultimatum: it was either Moyo or goes or he, Msika, would walk. That was unthinkable to Mugabe, so Moyo had to go. Mugabe took the unusual step of meeting for a long time with Moyo, together with Amai Mujuru, in order to convince him to stay on in ZANU PF.
I have published a picture above of Mugabe at Vice-president Msika'a burial in order to show you just how deeply attached he was to his deputy. Look at the picture closely, especially at Mugabe's face. It is the closest anyone has ever seen Mugabe close to tears. Ever.
Moyo, however, was stung by Msika's continued allegation that he was an unelected usurper, with no constituency. He wanted to show ZANU PF that he could win seats in Matabeleland for them.
With Dumiso Dabengwa still holding out on the Vice-presidency now vacant, with John Nkomo being destroyed by allegations of sodomy and no other clear contender in view, Moyo believes that this is his chance.
It is likely that Moyo will come back and go straight into a high-profile position in ZANU PF.
His intellect in terms of propaganda is not disputed. Morgan Tsvangirai himself, just after the 2005 elections when he was asked by foreign journalists why he thought he had lost, said that it was largely "due to propaganda" crafted by Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo was so hated because he was a superior brain who had put himself at the disposal of anti-democratic forces. He was effective, even the MDC admits. And that was the problem.
Mark my words, if Moyo is readmitted back into ZANU PF, he is going to gun for the vice-presidency vacated by Msika.
Back when he was fired, he was actually trying to rearrange the Presidium of ZANU PF to have Mnangagwa endorsed to take over from Joice Mujuru. Mnangagwa would then owe Moyo and, when he eventually took over as president, he would give Moyo the vice-presidency.
Msika saw it in a different light. He saw it as Moyo trying to get him fired by Mugabe, to be replaced by the Information Minister himself.
The only reason, therefore, that Moyo feels he can apply to be readmitted to ZANU PF is that Joseph Msika is dead.