FORMER Information minister Jonathan Moyo says the ruling Zanu PF is headed for disaster if it does not revamp its leadership and put new blood in its command structures.
Moyo, who was fired by President Robert Mugabe two weeks ago for breaching party rules, said in an interview on Tuesday Zanu PF would run into a leadership crisis unless it changes course.
“If you look objectively at Zanu PF now, you can’t miss the conclusion that there is marked unwillingness by those calling the shots to accept an alternative leadership,” Moyo said.
“The message coming from the top is clear: This is our thing, you are either for us or against us. This was the specific message given to me.”
Moyo said there was arbitrary and self-serving exercise of power in the top echelons of the party.
“When you are in there, and this is what they were saying to me, ‘we don’t care who you are, where you come from, how educated you are, and who you represent’,” he said. “‘Just be a good servant who thinks likes us, does like us, and acts for us without being one of us’. That is the problem. My own experiences taught me that democracy is not a virtue in the current Zanu PF configuration.”
Asked what he thought would happen in the short-to-medium-term if the party did not embrace leadership renewal, Moyo bluntly said: “It will be a disaster.”
Moyo said Zanu PF was failing to learn from the experiences of other liberation parties in the region, in particular Unip in Zambia, Kanu in Kenya, MCP in Malawi and Tanu (Chama ChamaPinduzi) in Tanzania.
“At the moment all countries in the region have realigned themselves to the new political and social dynamics, to the new reality,” he said.
“We have to accept that at various levels of leadership you get the best out of people at their prime. You simply can’t have the same output from a 30 something and an 80 something person — there are diminishing returns,” he said.
“All societies benefit from their people at their peak and not when they are in their retirement ages. That is the reality we need to accept which our neighbours have not only accepted but also appreciated.”
Moyo said Zanu PF could still be able to renew itself only if it addresses fundamental flaws in its closed hierarchy and leadership structures in order to “catch up with society”.
“They should realign themselves with society. Right now they are doing the exact opposite, distancing themselves from society. Zanu PF needs to open up, reach out, and catch up,” he said.
“As it is, society has moved on and it’s too far ahead of the ruling party. If it seriously entertains being a party of the future, it has to welcome a generation and leadership transition without being hostile and abusive.”
Moyo said Zanu PF had a lot of challenges to deal with in the months ahead. “I hope it will move forward as a cohesive unit and renew itself by incorporating diversity. But I don’t see anything encouraging to say that this will happen in our lifetime,” he said. “Yet I would be happy to be proven wrong. This is not fatal because we should not allow the fate of the country to be tied to that of Zanu PF.” —See Interview