Polls: Mugabe applauds Jonathan Moyo

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has credited Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo for masterminding Zanu PF’s landslide victory in the July 31 elections which the opposition alleges was achieved through systematic rigging.

Brian Chitemba

This represents a remarkable transformation for Moyo who, in 2009 as an independent MP after being expelled from Zanu PF for allegedly plotting Mugabe’s ouster, wrote that under Mugabe’s rule the economy had melted and Mugabe was “now too old, too tired. Mugabe now lacks the vision, stature and energy to effectively run the country, let alone his party.”

According to politburo minutes seen by the Zimbabwe Independent, Mugabe told his lieutenants during a meeting in August that Moyo crafted a brilliant election manifesto which addressed critical issues affecting the majority of Zimbabweans.

Zanu PF, in its manifesto, said it would create 2, 265 million jobs in the next five years as part of wider efforts to resuscitate the ailing economy whose capacity utilisation dropped by 5,3%from 44,2% in 2012 to 39,6% this year.

However, the party has already said it would not meet its job operation target, blaming sanctions and other hostile factors.

The election manifesto under a populist theme “Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment” was largely hinged on economic empowerment and indigenisation ideology — a controversial policy the party believes appeals to the needs of the masses but whose implementation is blamed for scaring away investors.

Mugabe told the politburo meeting that it was through the tag “Team Zanu PF”, inspired by Moyo, that the sharply divided party united against its political opponents.

The 89-year-old leader said the name Team Zanu PF brought a sense of common purpose as the party prepared for the crucial elections Mugabe won with 2 110 424 votes (61,09%), almost double Tsvangirai’s 1 172 349 votes (33,94%). Zanu PF regained its two-thirds National Assembly majority after winning 160 seats to MDC-Ts 49.

However, Mugabe also took time to thank politburo members for their role in ensuring Zanu PF victory.

During the same meeting Vice-President Joice Mujuru attacked senior party officials, mostly from her archrival Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s camp, for claiming they had successfully strategised to land Mugabe and the party a landslide victory.

Mujuru breathed fire because she was unhappy Mnangagwa’s faction was claiming credit for strategising and mobilising the party’s campaign material, hence overshadowing her in the race to succeed Mugabe, who may not to finish his seventh term as president due to old age and ill-health.

Mujuru wanted to be credited for the critical role she played in the election campaign in Mashonaland provinces and Harare, where she drummed up support for the party and the president ahead of the elections.