FORMER industry minister Nkosana Moyo (pictured) yesterday launched his 2018 presidential election bid, in a campaign he said will be driven by the quest to unify Zimbabweans towards a common vision for socio-economic development.
By Bernard Mpofu
The coming in of Moyo — an internationally recognised banker and strategist — into the political fray, brings a new dimension to the race to replace President Robert Mugabe who is battling old age, an economic implosion and Zanu PF internal strife.
“The economy has shrunk to a point where today it is about one tenth of what it was seven years ago. There is a whole generation of young people, especially those younger than 35 years of age, who have not known anything else other than this abnormal situation,” Moyo said.
“On account of these things, I have come to the conclusion that I must heed the call to run for the office of the President of Zimbabwe. This call is coming from diverse Zimbabweans. You may be surprised to learn that the people making this call include members of virtually all the political formations and of course the people.”
Moyo launched a new political formation, the Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA), which he said will not be a political party but a movement driven by a growing determination to remove Zanu PF from power in next year’s polls.
His bid comes at a time opposition parties are actively discussing the idea of coalescing to form a united front challenging Mugabe’s rule.
“We are not setting out to fight Zanu PF, or any other political party. We are, instead, setting out to offer competent servant leadership to all Zimbabweans, a leadership that, from the very beginning, is configured to unify the nation rather than divide it,” he said.
Commenting on whether APA could work with the coalition of opposition parties or split the vote, Moyo was subtle in ruling out any possibility of joining hands with opposition parties, saying most coalitions did not yield desired results.
“We need to understand that combinations of things, as the coalition agreement goes, do not always lead to desirable effective outcome. A simple illustration will prove this point. If I have a litre of drinking water and litre of petrol, I have two separate useable and effective fluids. If I mix them, I will certainly have a larger combined volume of a liquid that is pretty useless to me,” he said.
Moyo (65) became the first minister to quit his cabinet post in 2001 over sharp policy differences with Mugabe at the height of the country’s chaotic land reform programme. His resignation did not go down well with Mugabe who chided the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) chairman as “spineless”.