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Theories behind Moyo’s volte-face

PROFESSOR Jonathan Moyo’s credentials as an academic speak for themselves. He is no doubt an educated and intelligent person.

His ability in political, social and

economical analysis is evidenced by the posts he has held in the past and the articles he used to write for the local media. This is what makes his statements and actions today so irritating.

His background strongly contradicts his current utterances and I am inclined to think this man knows clearly that what is happening is wrong and does not believe his favourite utterances of “Blair this”, “British that” etc.

He is aware that Britain is not the problem. He pointed out where the problem lies in his numerous articles in the media before he jumped ship. If you scrutinise some of the statements he makes, for example comparing British premier Tony Blair to a “toilet” and some other childish gibberish, you can see the contradictory nature of his background and these statements. So, what is this man up to?

I have several theories. I strongly believe Moyo is taking us (Zimbabweans) – particularly President Robert Mugabe – for a ride and thinks we are all gullible.

I am also particularly surprised that the person most Zimbabweans and people around the world once held in such high esteem – President Mugabe – could also be easily hoodwinked. Does he really think that Moyo just woke up one day seeing the light after his persistent attacks on the government and his person in particular? Has he all of a sudden changed his mind on a person of which he said: “His uncanny propensity to shoot himself in the foot has become a national problem which needs urgent containment.”

Moyo’s intellectual background does not convince me that he has. So the question is: what is he playing at?

In my opinion there are several theories that might explain his bizarre turnaround and his position in President Mugabe’s favourites circle. There is a strong possibility that Moyo went to the government to seek sanctuary after being pursued for his previous dealings at Ford Foundation in Kenya and the knowledge that he might also be in trouble from his time in South Africa.

This might also explain why he was welcomed by President Mugabe because he cannot step out of line for fear of being thrown to the sharks. People with skeletons in the cupboard have found it very convenient to join the Mugabe ranks in singing praises of their master. I believe a lot of names spring into the minds of readers.

The second reason might be that the man is ambitious. With the way any opposition is treated in Zimbabwe, Moyo probably thought that he could not make his way to the top by being in the opposition. So, if it is so obvious that the scales will always be tilted in favour of your opponent’s camp, why not join them and make your way up from within?

He has managed to influence one of the most powerful tools in politics – the media. The ambition of the man is evidenced by his recent attacks on the party’s potential candidates for succession in the media. The man has positioned himself as the de facto premier, having a say in every ministry, from foreign issues to land redistribution.

He has used his position to throw cheap propaganda at every opportunity, labelling any criticism or simple critical report concerning the government as “Blair-sponsored”. I am of the opinion that the man knows the truth.

The third explanation might be that Moyo is a true patriot working for the people.

Surely, Moyo’s utterances have brought more ridicule and damage to the party than whatever opposition party has managed to achieve. I felt embarrassed when his information department labelled the Bulawayo City Council British-sponsored just because it released simple periodic statistics relating to causes of death in the city.

It should have said something diplomatic to the effect that malnutrition is not uncommon in developing countries and is no exception here. But it chose not to. The schoolboy attacks on Archbishop Pius Ncube mirror those of his master on Archbishop Desmond Tutu, when he called him an “embittered little Bishop”, (Sky News).

His most sickening, cheap and childish attack unfit for any senior government official purporting to represent the people was on Blair’s person, when he stooped to the “Tambaoga” level and described the prime minister as a Blair toilet! The Herald went on; “Next year’s election is an anti-Blair one – Moyo”.

How can a local election be an anti-far-away-country-leader one?

In his fight against the Daily News he also described the paper as Blair’s toilet paper (The Herald, October 10, 2002).

Is Moyo so simple-minded to believe what he is saying? Surely the highly-educated professor cannot stoop that low without a hidden agenda!

Having said all this, I believe there are a lot of people out there, within Zanu PF and outside, who are still as puzzled as I am on the contradictory nature of the professor.

Could we have responses from those who might have known him to help unravel what lies underneath those ramblings?



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