Jonathan Moyo, who is leading a Zanu PF high-powered delegation on a diplomatic offensive ahead of the Sadc summit in South Africa on Saturday, has hinted elections in Zimbabwe would not be held this year after all, but probably next year.
The controversial former Information minister, the undeclared Zanu PF chief spin doctor, has sought to heal wounds caused by his rabid attacks on President Jacob Zuma as facilitator to the Zimbabwe political crisis by claiming his party believed in him and Sadc.
He has however made it clear Zanu PF would not compromise on crucial GPA and election roadmap issues. Matters to do with security reforms, he said, were not open for discussion by his party.
Moyo, who was dispatched to South Africa this week along with other Zanu PF pistons of propaganda, the likes of Chris Mutsvangwa and Vimbai Chivaura, has already granted several interviews to South African media stressing Zanu P F would not change its stance.
But in what could be a climbdown by Zanu PF, who have always insisted that elections should be held this year, Moyo seemed to suggest that his party now believed elections would be held next year.
“Obviously we have not agreed with a range of issues that are not anywhere in the GPA,” Moyo said. “The so-called security sector reform to be done before the elections. Everywhere in the world we have not seen where key institutions are reformed a few months, in this case if elections are next year, it would be less than 18 months before. You cannot reform fundamental institutions for purposes of elections.”
In an attempt to placate regional leaders, Moyo, who has written articles attacking President Zuma, on Wednesday made a volte-face and saluted Zuma’s mediation efforts.
“Absolutely we have confidence in Zuma,” he said. Pressed on his criticism of Zuma and if at all his (Zuma) mediation was a success, Moyo seemed to fumble for the right words.
“Well, I don’t think we are here to talk about success and failure because we are talking about work in progress,” he said.
“We believe that if there are going to be candid issues raised about the participating parties, then surely in the spirit of democracy there should also be a willingness to raise issues about those that are facilitating. Our criticism is to inform to build, not to reject.”
Moyo said Zanu PF was committed to seeing the Sadc mediation process through.
“The summit will be looking at some of these issues with us as part of the process. We have not raised any issues suggesting that we don’t want to be part of the process. We see it as our process. We are a founding member of Sadc. We believe in these processes, but we want them to be always African-driven and African-owned,” he said.
Asked about his party’s “issue” with Sadc, he said they had no problem with the regional body, but had problems with the MDC-T party.