NEWS of beleaguered Information minister Jonathan Moyo sending a delegation of chiefs and headmen to visit Vice-President Joseph Msika to beg on his behalf to stand on a Zanu PF ticket in the forthcoming election contradicts the notion of
democracy Zanu PF had forced the people of Zimbabwe to accept.
But what makes his actions even worse is that the man lacks charisma.
I attended one of his meetings recently and every time he chanted a Zanu PF slogan the Chronicle reporter next to him would look miserable. The greatest lesson one learns from this whole fiasco is that what goes around comes around!
In the last election Obriel Mpofu connived by announcing fake results from Zanu PF command centres. It was bad enough to fail to listen to concerned groups that objected to changing electoral laws without public approval via their representative parliament.
Their comments insinuated that if the concerns of the opposition and civic society were genuine, then the public should be marching to State House or the High Court to demand the repeal of amendments they deliberately imposed.
Similarly, in the Daily News case, one of their top lawyers argued that if the Daily News were so convinced that they were right, then all media organisations would not have registered.
Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku had other ideas though. He thought that the Daily News approached the court with “dirty hands” thereby undermining the arguments put forward by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) and Moyo’s lawyers.
Previously, I questioned the logic of hiring these lawyers at the expense of using a fully-fledged AG’s office that was paid out of taxpayers’ fees.
Out of court communication between the MIC and the Daily News owners did not materialise. Nor did discussions led by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and others in trying to convince the executive not to change the country’s electoral rules without parliamentary approval. They went ahead and made amendment after amendment to the detriment of any opposition that chose to contest.
The clause permitting President Mugabe to act the same way in future presidential elections has not been removed and come 2008, it will be the same story. And Moyo thinks he can change this thinking.
Zanu PF has shown the world that dialogue is never the solution to a national problem, no matter how detrimental it is to the national fiscus. Even worse is the silent diplomacy which South Africa and other African countries have tried.
I remain convinced that even if the Zanu PF/MDC talks were revived via chiefs, these would end the same way as they did after the intervention of South Africa and Nigeria.
But Moyo’s greatest weakness is that he lacks charisma.
He has given President Mugabe the assurance that he will not reveal state secrets, but for all we know, the guy will write a book using the information he gathered during his confidential meetings with the chief headman.
He has already started leaking some of this information. The point is that Moyo does not have the charisma the Chronicle and his other newspapers have made the public to believe. As a result, he has been left exposed. We have watched as he bought village heads with empty promises every time he visits the community.
Very few of the developments that the Chronicle claims he has spearheaded in the community are visible. I have travelled in and out of Tsholotsho expecting to see a tarred road. The only tarred road was laid by the Rhodesians in 1973, but it’s only a 60km strip from the Victoria Falls/Bulawayo road and it covers mostly Nyamandlovu which is not Moyo’s coveted constituency.
Moyo is at the mercy of the old man who gave him political office. He should expect no mercy from John Nkomo and colleagues.
His increasingly violent behaviour in the last few weeks is testimony of a cornered cat.