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Moyo Must Explain Return to Zanu PF — Villagers

TSHOLOTSHO North villagers want to summon their member of parliament Jonathan Moyo in a fortnight so that he can explain his decision to rejoin Zanu PF.

If he snubs them, the villagers said they would bar him from visiting the constituency.

Villagers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent on Tuesday said they were shocked to hear through foreign radio stations that Moyo was back in Zanu PF after repeatedly vowing during his campaign last year that he would never rejoin the party.

Some of the villagers said they still doubt the authenticity of the information and now want Moyo to personally address them.

“We are not 100% convinced by reports that our MP (Moyo) has gone back to that party (Zanu PF). We only heard it on radio stations. We will only believe it when Moyo comes down here to address us,” said Mbonisi Ndlovu, who said he was in Moyo’s campaign team last year.

Last weekend, villagers from the constituency met to discuss Moyo’s re-joining Zanu PF and resolved to summon him in the next two weeks.

A letter will be sent to Moyo on Monday to inform him of that decision, said Ndlovu.

“Many people are now confused by his (Moyo’s) action (if what we hear is true) and we have resolved to summon him within two weeks to Tsholotsho to explain his move. Why is he taking so long to do that if he rejoined Zanu PF?” asked Ndlovu.

Another villager at Jimila Business centre, Mfokababa Nxumalo, said if Moyo still respected the electorate he should be humble enough to explain his decision in person.

“It’s shocking that the same Moyo who used to tell us that he will never rejoin (President Robert) Mugabe’s party has done it,” Nxumalo said. “We have not forgotten he said that once he rejoins Mugabe we have the right to take drastic action against him. This leaves us with no option but to summon him here and if he refuses we will bar him from ever setting foot in Tsholotsho North and we will do it.”

He wondered what Moyo was promised by Zanu PF, which he said must have been “too tempting to resist”.

However, some villagers said they were not worried about Moyo rejoining Zanu PF as long as he did not abandon them.

“Moyo is a likeable person and action-oriented. He started several critical projects like electrification, borehole drilling and helping in schools. We would be disappointed if he abandons us now that he is back in Zanu PF,” said Monica Ncube, another villager in Tsholotsho North.

Earlier this year, there were media reports that Mugabe wanted to appoint Moyo Minister of Media, Information and Publicity but faced stiff resistance from some top Zanu PF politburo members.

In a recent interview with state media, Moyo claimed that people in Tsholotsho North “are without doubt Zanu PF people or those sympathetic to Zanu PF’s ideology and principles and who appreciated the development projects that have been done there through Zanu PF”.

But some villagers said they only voted for him on the understanding that he was no longer a Zanu PF member as they did not want to be associated with Mugabe.

Another villager who campaigned for Moyo, Agrippa Moyo, said: “He is an MP because we don’t want Zanu PF here and that (MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai  did not have a candidate, he knows that. We wanted to vote for Tsvangirai’s person.”

Moyo is the only independent MP in the House of Assembly.

He is accused of having crafted Zimbabwe’s tough media laws that saw several private newspapers shut down during his tenure as Information minister.

But he fell out of favour with Mugabe when he allegedly masterminded the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in November 2004 to re-arrange the Zanu PF presidium.

Mugabe blocked his nomination to the central committee and dropped him from the politburo.

Moyo was fired from the party after he decided to contest the election as an independent candidate in the 2005 parliamentary election for Tsholotsho North, a seat which Zanu PF had reserved for a female candidate.

Moyo retained the Tsholotsho North seat last year by a slight margin after beating a candidate from the splinter MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara and a Zanu PF candidate.

 

Nqobile Bhebhe

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