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Empty Vessels Make Most Noise

PROFESSOR Jonathan Moyo has launched a diatribe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for embarking on a 100-day action plan that Moyo thinks will not produce anything, “Stop obsession with 100-day timeline” (Zimbabwe Independent, May 15).


It is very tempting to dismiss everything Moyo writes as the ranting of a bitter loser and shameless political vacillator trying, albeit in vain, to seek relevance in a political milieu that is changing faster that he can say “Ford Foundation”.

However, if we ignore people like Professor Moyo we run the risk of making them feel larger than their heads suggest. I therefore propose to analyse Moyo’s article in the hope of exposing the shallowness of his thought process.

Professor Moyo argues that Tsvangirai’s obsession with a 100-day timeline should stop, but Moyo then goes into detail describing the history behind the 100-day concept, starting with the 1930s US president  Roosevelt to the present day Barack Obama. It becomes clear who has an obsession with trivialities.

Moyo has a problem with the fact that Tsvangirai’s 100-day action plan will begin towards the end of his first 100 days in office, but he again contradicts himself by saying Tsvangirai is not like any American president and should not behave as if he was one. Yet by defining his own style of 100-day action plan, Tsvangirai is actually showing that he is his own man.

Moyo further argues that whatever little progress has been made in the economy was due to changes announced prior to the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU). He singles out the then acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s budget and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s Monetary Policy statement as the main drivers of the current apparent resurgence in the economy.

Obviously, this is open to debate, but one is prompted to ask why was Zanu PF so keen on inviting the MDC formations into the GNU if they could do it alone? Why did it take over 10 years of economic decline to find such a simple solution? Gono has been in the post of governor for over five years, and had numerous opportunities to change things but all he did was to preside over the worst inflation rate known in history.

Moyo ends his contribution by saying: “If one thing can be said about the coalition government one week before its first 100 days, it is that its future is very bleak.” This may well be true, but perhaps Moyo would like to tell us what Zanu PF achieved 10 years before that. He was part of the Zanu PF government for about five years, and what did he achieve that he can be proud of today?

While he is busy counting the days of the coalition government, there are millions of people that fled home because of his Zanu PF government’s reign of terror. Interestingly, Moyo says that Prime Minister Tsvangirai does not have real power as he is only fourth in command, after President Mugabe and his two deputies. But that does not stop Moyo from criticising Tsvangirai as if he was in total control, while he spares his former boss.

Moyo says nothing about Zanu PF’s continued sponsorship of chaotic farm invasions, the very acts that contributed to the present crisis. Could it be because through such acts Moyo was able to get a farm in the “choicest part of Mashonaland” as Nathaniel Manheru, his former student, once described it?

If we, for a moment, ignore Moyo’s previous life as part of the Zanu PF government and President Mugabe’s loyal spokesman, we would like to know what he has achieved as a Member of Parliament in his own 100 days of this current term. All we remember is that he has petitioned the High Court to nullify the Speaker of Parliament’s election on the grounds of some obscure point of law.

This has nothing to do with his job as an MP, and certainly nothing to do with the unfortunate people of Tsholotsho North who carry the burden of being represented in Parliament by a modern day Josef Goebbels who fought very hard to kill democracy and freedom of expression that he is now shamelessly abusing in the pages of the few remaining private newspapers he failed to destroy.

Moyo is a very good wordsmith, and is very adept at writing long-winded sentences which ridicule everyone but himself. But when it comes to practical ideas, Moyo is the personification of the proverbial empty vessel that makes the most noise.
 
Hudson Yemen Taivo,
United Kingdom.

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