Of principles and hypocrisy – Response to Jonathan Moyo

THE Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Youth Committee would like to respond to an article written by Jonathan Moyo, independent MP for Tsholotsho North in the Zimbabwe Independent of September 25 where he castigated the coalition for not respecting his rights to free association.

Firstly, it should be noted that the coalition is not an appendage of the Movement for Democratic Change, rather it is an amalgam of over 45 civic organisations formed in August 2001 in response to the serious political, economic, and social crisis and human rights violations that engulfed the country from 1998.

It is a serious misconception that any civic society organisation in Zimbabwe that finds itself in congruence with the MDC is vilified as a regime change agent, a lapdog of the West and a formation of the USAid or any other such international agencies.

Moyo must know better that the idea behind civic society organisations is to become mirrors of the state and ask critical questions around accountability, the promotion of good governance, and the protection of human rights.

Unless Jonathan Moyo would like to mislead Zimbabweans by arguing that it is illegal, and unwarranted for the coalition to carry out such noble causes. Moreover, just as much as the honourable MP has a right to associate with any political party of his choice, the coalition also has a right to freely express its views and opinions about political activities of public office bearers such as Moyo.

The coalition’s youth committee is fully aware of the fact that the right to free association is well entrenched in the Zimbabwe constitution (not that it has mattered much under the Zanu PF leadership), the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the International Covention on Civil and Political Rights as an inalienable right. Naturally, the coalition’s youth committee would not have any problems with any Zimbabwean joining any party of their choice.

In fact, this is what the coalition stands for in terms of its work –– promoting and respecting other people’s views and enhancing tolerance in Zimbabwe.

However, The coalition’s youth committee is convinced that it has every right to ask public officials such as MPs critical questions of accountability particularly when Zimbabweans are under siege from serious propaganda from political turncoats like Moyo.

The MP must not think that he can mislead Zimbabweans by writing verbose articles in the press defending the indefensible and denigrating the coalition. Moyo was voted into office by the people of Tsholotsho on the basis that he was opposed to tyranny, corruption, lack of rule of law, and state-sponsored violence –– all characteristics of Zanu PF from which  he defected.

It is an act of serious treachery and betrayal to the masses from Tsholotsho who endured brazen violence from Zanu PF supporters and state security agents in 2008 for him to suddenly change track and turn back to Zanu PF.

In our view, there is nothing principled, strategic or tactical, as Moyo would like to argue, about joining Zanu PF. Whilst he is free to do that, the coalition challenges him to vacate his seat which he gained on the basis of his stance against the “unprincipled, unstrategic and untactical” ways in which Zanu PF has ran the country in the last few years. Instead of Moyo ranting about nothing, he must start questioning himself and ask the same question the coalition and many other Zimbabweans asked two weeks ago: “What has changed honourable MP?”

Nothing has changed for Zanu PF as a political party unless if Moyo would like us to believe that there was anything strategic, principled and tactical about the following actions executed by Zanu PF as the ruling party.

 

  • More than 20 000 people died in the Midlands and Matabeleland between1982 and 1987 (Gukurahundi) at the instigation of the Zanu PF-led government and nothing has been done about those responsible most of whom are now senior government officials. Nothing at all has been done for the victims of such violence;

The brazen violence and farm invasions that followed Zanu PF’s 2000 loss in the constitutional referendum;

  • The killing of MDC supporters such as Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika during the run up to the 2002 Presidential election by CIO operatives including Joseph Mwale who have not been prosecuted;
  • The banning of independent newspapers and the bombing of The Daily News’ printing press;
  • The Introduction of repressive pieces of legislation such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (2002), the Public Order and Security Act and the Broadcasting Services Act;
  • The ruthless manner in which Operation Murambatsvina was carried out; destroying peoples’ livelihoods in most urban areas in Zimbabwe under the guise of wanting to rid the cities of crime. It is not news that the operation was meant to disenfranchise the many opposition supporters in the urban areas;
  • The hundreds of murders and extra judicial killings of MDC supporters by Zanu PF supporters and state security agents, human rights defenders and other civilians in the pre and post 27 June 2008 period;
  • The abduction of hundreds of Zimbabweans including Jestina Mukoko on allegations of terrorism which were dismissed by the courts and
  • The brazen disregard for the rule of law through the failure to abide by court decisions in numerous cases at the domestic and international level.
  • Chamunogwa is Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Youth Committee chairperson.

Arnold Chamunogwa

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