HARARE – Serial political flip-flopper, Jonathan Moyo, has backed opposition political parties’ calls for the west to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe until the ruling party has introduced noticeable reforms.
Before his latest damascene moment from self-imposed exile, the former Higher and Tertiary Education minister was at the forefront of blaming the United States’ policy towards Zimbabwe for hurting the country’s economy.
He even launched a sanctions impact research in January and devoted $150 000 to finance the survey.
With the tables having been tabled against him, Moyo is now singing from a different hymn book.
Quoting New York-based Human Rights Watch Southern Africa head Dewa Mavhinga’s submission presented before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging Washington to maintain its stance on Zimbabwe until reforms have been enacted, Moyo said no country should deal with Zimbabwe as it was an illegitimate administration.
“A military coup is a military coup and in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe it can only beget nothing else but an unconstitutional government and thus an illegitimate dispensation! #CouptheCure @dewamavhinga,” Moyo said on his twitter account.
The former Zanu PF politburo member took another about turn as he supported the opposition’s call for the United Nations and other international election watchdogs to supervise the 2018 elections.
Zanu PF has always maintained that the elections will not be observed by the UN.
“Given what has happened since the coup d’état of 15 November 2017, the only way forward is for Sadc, AU and UN to cure the coup by restoring constitutional legitimacy through a civilian national transitional structure to oversee free, fair and credible elections! Cure the coup. To expect the same Junta and Mnangagwa who violently grabbed power through a coup d’état on 15 November to organise and oversee free, fair and credible elections is the same as expecting Satan the devil to organise and run the church of God on behalf of Christians! Cure the coup,” Moyo insisted.
He further called on the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the African Union (AU) and UN to interrogate the deployment of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) on November 15 and the “alleged resignation of Mugabe on November 21. Firstly, was the ZDF deployment constitutional? Secondly did (former) president Mugabe voluntarily and freely resign?”
Moyo starkly warned: “The Junta will pay at the polls for humiliating …Mugabe!”
This week, Tendai Biti led an MDC Alliance delegation comprising Nelson Chamisa, activists Dewa Mavhinga and Peter Godwin to make presentations before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday where they urged Washington to maintain its current policy on Zimbabwe, which includes the sanctions.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Sibusiso Moyo has responded by saying it was staggering that opposition expects Mnangagwa to undo the wrong committed over 37 years in just two weeks.
In the wake of an outcry from Zanu PF, Biti said the ruling party should stop “being cry-babies” and implement electoral reforms if at all it is sincere about creating a new political dispensation.
Moyo’s narrative on maintaining existing US policy towards Zimbabwe until the military removes itself from politics was in tandem with that of Biti who described the intervention by the army in the country’s political affairs as an illegal and illegitimate transfer of power from one faction of the ruling Zanu PF party to another.
Speaking after lobbying Washington as Zanu PF went into overdrive blaming the MDC Alliance for calling on sanctions to the detriment of ordinary Zimbabweans, Biti said:
“The goodwill we have witnessed as MDC Alliance on this trip, the doors that have been open for us here, some of the offices we have entered that are no normally not opened to anyone is telling, when we say we have the keys to unlock Zimbabwe it’s not a lie. It’s all shown us that we have the goodwill as the opposition. Our message has been that it’s time to build Zimbabwe that has been our message from the white house, national security department, Capitol Hill, it’s time to build Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe has to walk the talk. There has to be incentives for good behaviour. So the ball is in our court. Let us not cry sanction or no sanction lets walk the talk.”
In his welcome remarks to the Zanu PF central committee meeting on Thursday, Mnangagwa stressed that general elections will be held next year as scheduled, promising that unlike in previous seasons, this time around the outcome will not be disputed.
“As I have already announced, harmonised general elections will be held in 2018 — as scheduled. Government will do all its powers to ensure that these elections are credible, free and fair,” he said without elaborating.
It remains to be seen if Mnangagwa will stick to his word within the eight months preceding the elections that are expected in July next year.