Moyo’s chances with third way slim’

REVILED by both sides of the political divide, sacked Information minister Jonathan Moyo, at the centre of controversy for promoting a “third way” to break the logjam between the ruling party and its main opposition, has little chance of

success, his opponents say.


Moyo, the only independent candidate to win a seat in the parliamentary election in March, argues that his United People’s Movement (UPM) offers an alternative to Zanu PF’s 25-year grip on power, and the labour-backed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which has lost three elections in a row since 2000, in ballots many regard as rigged.


According to Moyo, the UPM is a “synthesis of the dialectic between Zanu PF and the MDC”, and an idea that has attracted disgruntled elements in both parties. The goals of the “third way” are to provide “a pragmatic ideological and policy alternative” for charting a way out of Zimbabwe’s crisis, and to “succeed where the MDC has failed”.


“As a sunset political party going through an inevitably bitter (internal) succession struggle, Zanu PF no longer has the capacity to govern, and govern well,” Moyo told Irin. The MDC, on the other hand, believes “it can come to power on the strength of protest votes produced by the ineptitude and brutality of the Zanu PF”, but has become “trapped by the web of protest politics”.


However political scientist John Makumbe said what Zimbabwe needed most at present was political dialogue between the MDC and Zanu PF – not the introduction of more parties.


“Currently there is so much polarisation in Zimbabwe, there can only be two horses in the political field, which are Zanu PF and the MDC – there is no space for the so-called third way,” said Makumbe.


“Jonathan Moyo must not fool himself into thinking that he can win the people’s support,” Makumbe added. “His brutality against progressive forces, and his unbridled hate for opposition politicians, is well documented.”

Moyo has, however, attracted audiences when he has spoken publicly about the third way, winning applause, especially from college students. His willingness to stand up to Zanu PF after being sacked in 2005 for his role in organising resistance to President Robert Mugabe’s succession plans has earned him the admiration of some Zimbabweans.


But for civil society activists and past opponents like National Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku, the third way initiative is tainted by association with Moyo.


“Little is known about it and if it is a credible movement at all, it can only succeed when reputable people take charge, and not the likes of Moyo – he has no credibility with the people, who justifiably dismiss him as a disillusioned former Zanu PF die-hard,” said Madhuku. – Irin.