In a recent interview with The Standard, a local weekly, Professor Jonathan Moyo spoke at length about his current relationship with Presidential spokesman George Charamba as well as allegations that he has a successionist agenda.
He states in his interview that in a meeting with Charamba after he won the Tsholotsho by-election in June 2015, Charamba queried his support of VP Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed President Mugabe he responded that whoever wanted to succeed Mugabe should go to hell and he was not concerned what anyone opposed to this would do to him.
Moyo states that he reminded Charamba of 2004 (most probably referring to the Tsholotsho Declaration) and that he would not be a part of a ‘Tsholotsho 2’ in Harare and that Joice Mujuru was not removed for her successionist plots in order to replace her with VP Mnangagwa to pursue his own successionist programme against President Mugabe.
A snippet of The Standard’s interview is below:
Question: In your response to accusations that you are part of a faction that is allegedly abusing the First Family’s name, you have said you learnt your lesson in 2004, what was that lesson?
Answer: I learnt that at all times, I must remain loyal to my appointing authority and forget the rest. Successionists then would say Pamberi naPresident Mugabe (forward with President Mugabe) during the day and spend the cover of night plotting his ouster. That’s what they are doing now. Lots of daylight slogans in support of the president followed by a nightfall of unprecedented succession scheming. Loyalty is a 24-hour proposition, 24/7. It’s not a part-time job of the politics of appearances.
Question: In 2004 you were accused of working with a Zanu PF faction that was pushing for Mnangagwa’s elevation to the presidium but now you are said to be fighting him. What has changed?
Answer: I just told you that I learnt my lessons. It’s called political maturity and experience. I’m not fighting anyone. I’m just making sure that I do not again put myself in a political situation that is in conflict with my president as my appointing authority. I shared this position publicly in a Sunday Mail interview soon after my re-admission to the party and election into the central committee at the 5th Congress in December 2009. We have the position of one centre of power in our party’s constitution. I drafted that position as I drafted all the key amendments to our party’s constitution for the 6th Congress in December 2014 and I did that under VP Mnangagwa.
In 2004 group of supports of Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted to elevate the then Zanu PF secretary for administration to position of Vice President ahead of Joice Mujuru and Jonathan Moyo was said to be a key player in the drama which unfolded. He has written in detail about the events.
In his account, Moyo maintains that the Tsholotsho Declaration was made up of four principles:
- that all the country’s four major ethnic groups, Karanga, Manyika, Zezuru and Ndebele should be represented in the presidium;
- that the position of president should not be monopolised by one ethnic group, but rotate among the four major ethnic groupings;
- that the filling of positions in the presidium should not be by imposition by the party hierarchy, but through democratic elections done by secret balloting; and
- such positions must be filled in accordance with the party constitution.
This meeting would see the eventual expelling of a number of attendees, Moyo himself was expelled in February 2005 after refusing to step aside when his constituency was reserved for a female candidate.
Jonathan Moyo has seen the state media turn against him of late, with him labelling the Herald “a successionist disgrace“, while Presidential spokesperson George Charamba has called for such ‘tomfoolery’ to stop. Moyo has also crossed swords with War Veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa, with accusations and counter accusations being thrown.