HomeOpinionJonathan Moyo Raising Sceptre of Racism

Jonathan Moyo Raising Sceptre of Racism

AFTER reading Jonathan Moyo’s contribution which appeared in the Financial Gazette and was reproduced by the NewZimbabwe website in which he argued that the MDC’s choice of Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture was treacherous, I came to the conclusion that the professor has lost it.

I also realised that when desperation pushes a man to sing the loudest for his supper he surely never realises how everyone is looking and wondering if he is still sane.

Moyo (right)’s article clearly shows how he is slowly becoming useless to both the academic world and Zimbabweans. Having realised that the “Pontius Pilate political card”, which he has been trying to play all along after leaving Zanu PF, is not working for him, Moyo has just returned to Zanu PF and picked up the game from where he left it without taking time to notice the changes around him.

Using the Pontius Pilate political card, Moyo tried with little success to rid himself of all the evils that he did whilst in Zanu PF and the frustrations of failing to bring Zimbabweans along to his thinking have made him return to his gang.

After going through his article, I asked myself if Moyo was singing to the right audience. If he was, why were his listeners not getting the message and responding accordingly? Can they please give Moyo a position and a big budget for jingles so that at least he can have some pocket money, instead of allowing him to expose himself through his mediocre criticisms of whatever the MDC is doing.

His criticism is not respectful of changes in the political landscape ever since he unceremoniously left Zanu PF in 2004. He has failed to realise that Zimbabwean politics is now in the post-Third Chimurenga period.

I hope someone in Zanu PF will stop Moyo and remind him this is not a time for moribund nationalism but that it is a time for sober thinking, planning, reconstruction and remedying of what senseless nationalism destroyed. His latest contribution to Zimbabwean politics has not been helpful in this regard.

Moyo’s article contained malicious statements which if not responded to have the capacity to cause real harm to Zimbabwe. I am in this article going to select some of these statements and show how Moyo has remained ensnared in old history and not the present politics of our country. In his article Moyo wrote:
“Is the MDC-T really serious that it can carelessly risk worsening the plight of the suffering majority of people in the country by treating its proposed but unwarranted and provocative post of Deputy Minister of Agriculture for a former Rhodesian army man called Roy Bennett as more important than the pursuit of inter-party policies by the coalition government to improve the livelihood and welfare of Zimbabweans”?

In an attempt to appease Zanu PF, Moyo is once again peddling the worn-out racist card. It would be silly if not outright insane for anyone to think that Bennett is not a Zimbabwean but a Rhodesian. How sick can one be to talk of Rhodesians 28 years after Independence? How can someone who aspires to be a political leader think he can mobilise people around racism. Moyo must know that racism is as bad as tribalism.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Bennett’s permanent unsuitability to be a member of Zimbabwe’s government in any capacity has nothing to do with his present legal circumstances in which he has been lawfully indicted by a court of law to stand trial in the High Court of Zimbabwe after he was lawfully charged with very serious offences for which he has been on bail since last February,” Moyo writes.

Moyo must be thanked for answering a question many Zimbabweans have been asking by revealing that Bennett is being persecuted for being white and nothing more. How can they sink so low? Politics must be practised around progressive ideas and policies, not hatred of individuals.


Zimbabwe is not a country of infants who can easily be mobilised on racist ideas that are condemned all over the world. The onus on our leaders is to rebuild a Zimbabwe that is non-racial, non-tribal, non-sexist and founded on civic conceptions of nationhood rather than nativism and primordialism. Moyo is far off the mark on this one.

“If Prime Minister Tsvangirai pushes for Bennett to be in our Ministry of Agriculture and succeeds, then just like the sun will rise tomorrow, it would be a major issue in the next election because King Mzilikazi, Lobengula along with Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi and our fallen heroes of the Second Chimurenga would turn in their graves and inspire the surviving comrades of the revolution and their offspring to set this whole country on fire. That is not a threat but a generational promise,” he says.

Reading this statement no one is in doubt that Moyo is a prophet of violence. Why does Moyo worship at the altar of violence without shame, while others are trying to heal the nation and reconcile society?

By being brazenly racist Moyo thinks he can mobilise war veterans to the side of Zanu PF’s violent tradition once more by casting Bennett as a Rhodesian soldier, Selous Scout and “Rhodie” who killed people in Mozambique and Zambia. Moyo even insults President Ian Khama for being born by a white woman. Is racism not the refuge of scoundrels just like tribalism is the language of the sick-minded? True veterans of the liberation war have risen above this simplistic nonsense inspired by latter-day racists.

By clearly threatening that the next elections will be violent Moyo is selfishly pushing his personal agenda and not being sympathetic to the people of Zimbabwe who have been killed and brutalised in a post-colonial Zimbabwe by people who think like him. Zanu PF and Moyo must learn that election time is not wartime. Nowhere in the world have the hearts of a people been won through violence.

“Since then, the MDC-T quest has been only about posts in the prime minister’s office with special reference to the filling of illegal positions in the party’s parallel government structures whose civil servants earn top up salaries ranging from US$700 – US$7 000. Parenthetically, there is new and incontrovertible evidence that some but not yet all MDC-T cabinet ministers are earning top up salaries pegged on the Kenyan cabinet salaries reported to be around US$15 000 a month.

Otherwise, and as a matter of fact, all MDC-T cabinet ministers and civil servants are receiving top up salaries and their evil pecuniary interest explains why MDC-T cabinet ministers who do not agree with the disengagement decision have nevertheless succumbed to it,” he writes.

It seems Moyo is personally hurt by the idea of some people earning $700-$7 000. It’s very simple professor, you chose to villagise yourself and left academia where others earn more that $7 000 a month for their legitimate standing and contribution to knowledge. If we may ask you, what happened to your position with the Ford Foundation?

What did you do with your short-stint at the University of Witwatersrand? What did you do with your short five-year concubinage with Zanu PF as its spin-doctor? Do not cry for other people’s blood when you messed yourself up. You must learn to blame yourself for making foolish decisions, inspired by no principles but selfishness.

“There is no amount of the abuse of press freedom that can justify the rewriting of Zimbabwe’s history. Bennett’s hands have the blood of Zimbabwe’s liberation fighters including that of Zimbabwean children who were in various refugee camps in Mozambique during the liberation struggle,” Moyo writes.

It’s indeed a pity Moyo that you continue to take the people of Zimbabwe for granted. Do you think by reading the history of Zimbabwe as a “tale of white tormentors of blacks”, you will hide your recent role in trying to extinguish the embers of democratisation, derail the democratic train and even legitimise violence since 2000? No, history will judge you yet!

lBhebhe is an MA Development Studies student at the University of Manchester.


By Liberty Bhebhe

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