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Editor’s Memo

Hey, Spinner!

DID I not say it in September last year that the spinner is always bound to beat his master in their fall from grace? As if that was not ample warning Jonathan Moyo, did I not warn t

hat when the spinner becomes news, it is time to stop spinning?

Congratulations Jonathan for walking this well-beaten path which other spin-doctors have trudged. This is usually a high road paved with gold but is unfortunately headed for the precipice. But when one is in a spin, it is difficult to make them focus on the warning signs. Tony Blair’s spin master, Alistair Campbell, had become news himself. He was spinning out of control after tasting the sweet poison from a bottle labelled “power”.

While Campbell slithered out of the political scene after a sore encounter with the media, in particular the BBC, which he was trying to control, our Information czar, Jonathan Moyo, has been fired for going against the grain of his party.

It was the effect of that sweet poison once again. In politics one needs self-control and restraint after partaking. Moyo last week complained loudly about being off-loaded from a ship he saved from sinking.

We should give credit to the man for saving a sinking ship. His gung-ho tactics were what Zanu PF required to stave off the opposition. He was a bundle of energy in his defence of an oppressive system. Who can forget the clashes with the opposition in parliament over legislation on land, the media and security?

If he is to take credit for the Zanu PF victory in 2000, can I safely say that he had a role in the brutal attacks on opposition supporters in rural areas? Was it his idea to have the Public Order and Security Act, which government has used so effectively to stop the opposition from campaigning? The next time he goes to hold a rally ngale eTsholotsho, he should not forget to seek police clearance, which could now take longer to obtain.

There won’t be television and a willing media to take dictation from the professor. The playing field is now even.

This is a cruel world where saviours are disappointed by those who appoint them.

Moyo’s anger against Mugabe provides us with more insight into the construction of a spin master. When he becomes news he begins a journey towards self-aggrandisement. He has ambitions to fulfill ahead of the master he is called upon to serve. When the master sees this apparent conflict he feels unsafe and the safest thing to do is to off-load the ambitious servant.

A more tacit lesson for Moyo is that a stowaway who saves a sinking ship does not suddenly earn the stripes to be the captain. Moyo should have seen this.

I do not want to believe that his attack on party seniors through a dead man’s grip on the media was inspired by a Messianic fervour wafting around him. He was disappointed with Mugabe because the octogenarian did not see god in him despite the five-year feverish activity to plug the holes on the sinking craft.

Moyo should be grateful to Zanu PF for getting a vantage position on the feeding trough where he thrashed about to ensure he fed uninhibited.

He owes his pet projects — done in the name of national duty — to the establishment. Pax Afro is his most notable project born out of political patronage.

He changed the face of the media — both print and electronic. His was an attempt to build an unnatural nation that thinks in exactly the same way. At international conferences he threw his weight around with abandon.

Zimbabwe was never wrong in anything. It was a perfect democracy. Surprisingly, today he does not see democracy in a party he always claimed brought democracy to Zimbabwe.

If the castaway spinner saved a sinking Zanu PF ship, the question to ponder is whether Zanu PF needs him today or he needs Zanu PF more? He does not need the party because he has decided to stand as an independent candidate and trammelled his fall.

He wanted to be seen as the guy who took the ball across the goal line. Unfortunately, he scored a spectacular own goal. Let it play.

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