Former Industry and Trade minister Nkosana Moyo has hit the ground running after announcing his presidential bid on June 29, addressing public meetings in Gweru, Kwekwe and Bulawayo last week.
the big interview
Moyo (NM), who leads the Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA) on Friday met representatives of civic groups and other ordinary residents from various sectors in Bulawayo where he articulated his agenda.
He fielded questions from the sizeable crowd and below we reproduce some of the questions and Moyo’s answers.
Q: How are you going to deal with the issue of removing patronage in state institutions?
NM: I think it’s the easiest thing to do. I think when I get elected the first people I will sit around the table with to explain how I will do my work are my family.
A friend once said if you want to understand African presidents understand their wives. That’s where the problem starts. But the broader context is that most of our local problems on the continent start with the family.
So my view is that the first people I will sit around the table with are my family to explain something. Most of our problems in terms of patronage start with the family.
So my view is that if you are a member of my family and you do a corrupt deal with someone thinking you won’t go to jail, you are wrong.
You are going to go to jail. I will put you in the same cell with whoever you connive with. Even if you are a member of my family you will go to jail. Because you will notice that patronage is to do with what you do with your friends and family and giving them positions they shouldn’t have. [Positions] that they are not even qualified to hold.
That’s point number one. Point number two, I noticed that even in South Africa it happened and I never understood why.
You get couples who are both in government at very senior level. How can that be? How can both husband and wife be in government at very senior level? So when your wife or husband messes up and the wife or husband is a CEO are you going to fire him or her?
So you set yourself from day one to fail when you do that. In a family business that’s Okay. But in a public entity like government, you can’t do that. That’s wrong.
The patronage issue starts with the head of state and I will be clear as the head of state, I don’t do that.
I don’t employ friends and relatives even if they are qualified.
If my son is the most qualified person around, I rather employ the second most qualified.
That’s what I will do. The issue of patronage is a very easy thing to solve if you are clear as head of state or head of company for that matter.
Q: How are you going to deal with the issue of confronting the very painful past? (Gukurahundi).
NM: I lost members of my family. My mother is a Nkomo. So we are not talking something that is alien to me. I think that we need to be clear in our thinking.
Lives were lost. It has been brought to my attention that as rains fall more mass graves are discovered. So it is not a laughing matter and there is no way I will trivialise this.
So the President (Robert Mugabe) is on public record having admitted that a moment of madness happened. So what I would expect for us as a nation, not as Matabeleland, but as a nation is to start from there. A moment of madness happened.
We can debate what we can do in terms of restorative justice. As far as I know, there are many many kids from this part of the country for instance who got no papers, literally no papers of their being Zimbabweans.
We would need to engage with our neighbours because we even need their facilitation to put that right.
There are a lot of elements about that moment of madness that are acknowledged which we need to do something about. What I do not want is to talk on behalf of all victims.
I think the victims need to be consulted in terms of what are the components of restorative justice that we need to consider implementing as a Zimbabwe heading in a different direction.
The responsibilities of communities has to be respected the same way you talk about devolution.
So all of us have to sit around the table and discuss what is the menu of the measures that we would like to be dealt with to deal with the moment of madness. But we have to go back to the constituencies and talk to them.
Q: How are you going to address the issue of a bloated Parliament?
NM: Building institutions is an interesting thing. When we change society we have two options, either we can go for a revolution which means I don’t care what is in place, I destroy and start all over again.
Or you can say I am very clear about things that need to be changed. But if you respect institutions you also understand that means you have to start from where you are.
So when we go in, I cannot determine here now that there will be less than 210 MPs next year. How will I do that? So as we go into next year, that parliament will have 210 MPs.
Changing that institution and the formulation, my own view is that I will have to come back to the people with a proposal. I cannot dictate.
I can determine the size of cabinet right away. I cannot determine the size of parliament right away. I will have to assess, compare with other properly functioning democracies and then come back to the people and say this is what I propose, these are the number of constituencies we need for the size of this population and, therefore, this is the size of parliament I propose we have.
If you as society who own that say yes, we change and if you say no, we stay with what we have. Let me give you an example, the current president of Benin ran an election and promised that he would change the term of the president from two to one.
He then took it to the population and it was rejected by parliament, they said we stay with two terms. If you respect institutions, even as president, you have to be bound by it.
So there are certain questions you were asking me which must follow process and must go back to the people. I will have a view, I will propose it, but the people will decide.
Q: Do you think the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in its current form will allow you or whoever wins the elections to be pronounced so?
NM: Apartheid and Ian smith both of them believed that our country would never change. I personally know from history that there is no administration that can forever stand against the people no matter what it throws at them.
So you can drag me into details of Zec, but I think the higher principle is there is no regime in history that has been able to permanently stand against the wishes of the people.
So I think it is up to us, if we want to say Zec are there [and] they do all sorts of things, and therefore we will never get there it’s our choice to say. But history does not support us.
History on the other hand shows that when enough is enough and people say we can’t take it anymore people are capable of changing their country and that is what I am counting on irrespective of what is out there.
If Zimbabweans come together and say it is time, we have had enough, we will be able to change our country
Q: There are reports that you endorsed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yet you are also a presidential aspirant. Was this part of fake news?
NM: I was asked a question on whether if VP Mnangagwa took over he will do things differently. I know VP Mnangagwa is smart.
I know he will run Zimbabwe differently (from Mugabe) but I did not mean to say I endorse him. I do not believe in the politics of trashing others. If you ask me about Morgan Tsvangirai, I will also tell you my opinion about him.
I will not engage in the politics of trying to rubbish others. I respect Mnangagwa.
He is a Zimbabwean and factually he will run Zimbabwe differently. That is a statement of fact.