Yes it is true that Jonathan Moyo hates his past because proof lies in his writings in which he passionately castigated President Robert Mugabe, the President of Zanu-PF.
Moyo said and did things that he now wishes he should never have said or done.
That is 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 — they are there for eternity and historians to analyse and sometimes laugh at.
Judging from his latest attempts to silence the independent Press as if we have pardoned him for his retrogressive media laws eg Access to Information Protection and Privacy Act, 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 attempt to gag the Daily News and the Zimbabwe Independent by stopping them from republishing articles he wrote attacking President 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 rejoining Zanu PF, can be narrowed into two problems: personal and party.
Topmost on what can be perceived as Moyo’s personal problem 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 people with 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 not convinced 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 fire-fighting tactics to douse 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, 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 district, (BBC: Mugabe “made ex-spin doctor cry”, 24/03/05). “He did terrible things, going to the army commander,” President 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,” President Mugabe said.
President Mugabe’s words seemed prophetic about Moyo because after writing “Why Mugabe should go now,” Moyo went on to re-apply to work for the same person he had demonised 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 have backfired as research later has 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 outrage, public morals and opening Pandora’s box, as some of the dead bodies had fluids suggesting they were not from 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. Through this analysis, we hope we have answered the question: “Is Jonathan Moyo regretting his anti-Mugabe stance” with a resounding “Yes.”
•Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a political analyst based in London. Contact: email@example.com