This was in a lecture theatre at some university here in Zimbabwe. Moyo was speaking on the interesting topic of “Outstanding achievements that have been made by Africans” and also on “The current political situation in Zimbabwe”.
This covered chievements in almost every sphere of human endeavour, such as sport, music, science, academia and so on. As usual Moyo gave an interesting, amusing, well researched, thought-provoking and intelligent speech. He is quite an intelligent guy, all things being equal.
During question time I asked him whether he was going to remain an independent MP or was he going to join one of the political parties? Moyo said that from his experience in politics one contributes more as a member of a team than playing it alone.
He went on to say that he will one day join a party but he did not know which one. Then he went on to cynically remark that he did not think that Zanu PF could win an election in the foreseeable future! So I was naturally taken aback when three weeks ago rumours started circulating about him rejoining Zanu PF.
I was much more awestruck by the article which Moyo published in the issue of the Zimbabwe Independent (September 25), in the analysis column. Moyo went to great lengths (actually went to town) to justify the reason why he has rejoined Zanu PF. He calls it his “right to freedom of association”.
“What business is it to Crisis in Zimbabwe or anyone else that this writer is rejoining the very same Zanu PF party…” retorts Moyo.
This kind of justification from the professor (of all people) is lame duck if not downright pedestrian and I am sure that even Moyo realises that he was treading on very thin political ice when he made that statement.
I have no problem with Moyo rejoining Zanu PF. He can rejoin it a million times over or till the cows come home, if he wants to. That’s his “right to freedom of association”. However, what beats me is why Moyo has to justify his rejoining of his old party. Could it be that he is being “pricked” by conscience? Yes everyone has a conscience (though hard it is to believe with some people). Why else is Moyo justifying his “right to freedom of association?” Conscience, double jeopardy or good old political opportunism? It is usually very lonely when you are out there alone in the cold.
Perhaps Moyo should be reminded that, like all other rights, the “right to freedom of association” is mandatorily accompanied by responsibilities: responsibility to others and to one’s self. Is Moyo responsible enough to look straight into the eyes of the Tsholotsho North electorate and say “rejoining Zanu PF is my “right to freedom of association and after all my principles have never differed from those of Zanu PF”?
I can’t help wondering what those principles are and I am sure the Tsholotsho North voters must be wondering too. There is a big difference between changing one’s mind, doing a turnabout and being a turncoat. The first implies a reconsideration of one’s point of view/stance with the help of hindsight. T
he second implies a complete capitulation of one’s former position while a turncoat is a downright despicable cheat or sell-out. I wonder which of the three Moyo identifies with.
Moyo often presents his arguments in a scholarly and confident way and I have a sneaky admiration of the way he does it even when I don’t agree with the content of the argument, but in his article Moyo ends up with egg on his face. The whole thing about justification leaves one with a bad taste in the mouth. It is often said that “politics is a dirty game”. That’s not quite correct because I think that it is the dirty politicians who make the game dirty.
Pandit Nehru, the first post-independence prime minister of India, once remarked on the contradiction of politics in that “quite often wise people make some very foolish decisions”.
Moyo should be humble enough and be responsible enough to make a public apology to the Tsholotsho North electorate for misleading them, right to freedom of association or not!
As for the wisdom (or lack of it) of rejoining Zanu PF, my opinion is that unfortunately for Moyo, this is a case of turkeys voting for an early Christmas.
Nhachi is a professor in clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the UZ and is contactable on 0912318852/ 04 705581.
By Charles Nhachi