Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo remains one of former president Robert Mugabe’s most vocal supporters, five months after the veteran ruler was ousted following a military-led revolt against his 38-year rule.
By STAFF REPORTER
Moyo, who is in exile in an unknown country after fleeing the country during the November 2017 uprising, is wanted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for alleged theft of public funds.
He has been linked to a new opposition party, National Patriotic Front (NPF), which is associated with Mugabe.
However, Moyo (JM) told The Standard (TS) after questions were emailed to him that he is not a member of the NPF.
The political science academic also spoke about the forthcoming elections, Mugabe’s claim that Zapu were responsible for Gukurahundi and his escape from Zimbabwe. Below are excerpts from the interview.
TS: Zanu PF last week received CVs of aspiring councillors, MPs and senators and it is now certain you will not be part of the ruling party’s candidates in the forthcoming elections. Do you still have any desire to represent Tsholotsho North in Parliament?
JM: The CV affair for election candidates in Zanu PF is not my business not only because I’m not a member of Zanu PF anymore, but also because Zanu PF as it was known is dead; after it was killed by the bloody military coup on November 15, 2017 which toppled President Robert Mugabe and unconstitutionally replaced him by the unelectable Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is in office illegally.
As for Tsholotsho North, I will work with other like-minded comrades to ensure that it gets councillors and a Member of Parliament who respect the community, are committed to its development and are not in any way tainted by the coup.
TS: What would you say is the significance of the 2018 election?
JM: The 2018 poll is what political scientists call a “critical election” in that it is as historic as the one in 1980, which laid the foundation for Zimbabwe’s first republic under the Lancaster constitution.
It’s a critical election because it’s going to be characterised and defined by a historic realignment of voters in a major generational way that will lay the foundation for the country’s second republic based on the new 2013 Constitution.
Whereas the 1980 election was dominated by the Independence Generation — which was principally made up of a broad coalition of nationalists, veterans of the liberation struggle, peasants, workers and students — the 2018 election is dominated up to some 64% by the freedom generation, which is largely composed of compatriots who were either 10 years old, or were not yet born in 1980.
Seven years ago, in 2011, I described this demographic as Generation 40 or G40. So, make no mistake about it; the 2018 election is a G40 election. This is historic.
TS: You have been out of the country since the coup, what are your long-term plans? For how long will you remain “in exile”?
JM: How long I will remain out of the country and my long-term plans is a matter entirely between me and God. However, what should be self-evident is the fact that nothing lasts forever.
TS: Many people have wondered why you and your G40 colleagues did not see the coup coming and why you did not advise Mugabe accordingly. Did you not see it coming?
JM: The claim that the so-called G40 did not see the coup coming is false and preposterous.
Amai Dr Grace Mugabe warned about it on several occasions and in public.
I wrote to President Mugabe about the coup plot under confidential cover more than a year before November 15, 2017 on January 8, 2016 based on what Patrick Chinamasa had told me and on July 5, 2016 based on information I had been given by impeccable sources.
I also raised the matter in the video I presented to the Zanu PF politburo on July 19, 2017 about Mnangagwa’s coup plot against President Mugabe.
So, of course, we saw the coup coming and gave appropriate warnings at various times.
But we did not ever consider to resist it violently through counterforce, an option that was always available, but which was undesirable and therefore unthinkable.
TS: So why did Mugabe not act to prevent the coup?
JM: I think that’s now for historians to unravel. But one unfortunate but true explanation is that President Mugabe never ever believed that Mnangagwa and Constantino Guveya Dominic Chiwenga would ever depose him in a military coup.
President Mugabe was impervious to that possibility because he trusted these two men more than he trusted anyone else.
The fact that Mnangagwa and Chiwenga, of all people, joined hands and used the military to depose him is something that I’m 100% sure President Mugabe cannot understand, let alone believe, to this day, yet this is exactly what happened: Chiwenga conspired with Mnangagwa to oust President Mugabe in a military coup.
It is not surprising that both Chiwenga and Mnangagwa are finding it difficult and in fact impossible to go out there and campaign for the 2018 elections because they know only too well that they did the ultimate Judas Iscariot act: they sold out and used the violent arms of war to humiliate the one person who groomed them and made them what they are today.
This fact of treachery and betrayal of President Mugabe by Chiwenga and Mnangagwa is painful and totally unacceptable to an overwhelming majority of members of what was Zanu PF before November 15, 2017.
That’s why Zanu PF is today dead. All you have is Junta PF, which is failing to explain to former Zanu PF supporters what happened to President Mugabe and why.
It’s also the reason why the likes of Obert Mpofu are chickening out of representing their constituencies.
They don’t want to face the people because they have no explanations for their treachery and betrayal of President Mugabe.
TS: In a recent interview, Mugabe blamed Gukurahundi on Zapu and the Ndebele people. What is your comment on that matter considering that you have been a strident defender of the former president’s legacy?
JM: It can neither be correct nor true that the Ndebele people and Zapu were responsible for Gukurahundi.
The indubitable fact is that gukurahundi was an atrocity whose victims were the Ndebele people and Zapu as a political party.
It cannot, therefore, be right that victims are blamed for the tragedy they suffered.
In any event, there’s now quite a strong and reliable body of information about what happened during that dark period in Zimbabwe’s post-independence history.
It should be noted that what President Mugabe said is the official Gukurahundi and wrong narrative. that is the reason why some of us have always insisted on the need for a truth and reconciliation process to deal with this matter.
The question of what happened during the gukurahundi tragedy cannot and must not depend on any opinion, but must be factual-based on a truth and reconciliation process whose objective is justice. This is the bottom line for me.
But back to what President Mugabe said, it was significant that he accepted and acknowledged that wrongs were done.
It was also revealing and significant that President Mugabe said the lead instigators and enforcers of gukurahundi were Emmerson Mnangagwa and Dan Stannard.
Before that, in July 2000 President Mugabe described Gukurahundi as a moment of madness.
Indeed, the whole Unity Accord was about accepting and acknowledging those wrongs to correct them in the national interest.
The problem though, to this day, is that those wrongs have not been righted and they remain as gross human wrongs.
What is worse is that as a key Gukurahundi instigator and enforcer, Mnangagwa is now a Gukurahundi denialist whose grotesque mantra is that the past is dead.
TS: In that interview it became clear that Mugabe and President Emmerson Mnangagwa share the same views when it comes to Gukurahundi. You have called Mnangagwa a Gukurahundist and attacked him for refusing to apologise for his role in the atrocities. Does Mugabe’s position change your views in any way?
JM: No, no, President Mugabe and Mnangagwa do not share the same views on Gukurahundi. No, no, they don’t.
President Mugabe has acknowledged that wrongs were committed and described the period as a moment of madness.
President Mugabe forged the Unity Accord with the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo out of this acknowledgment.
In 2011 Mnangagwa said Gukurahundi was a closed chapter and recently he said the past is dead.
Clearly, Mnangagwa is a Gukurahundi denialist and it is for this reason that I’ve called him a Gukurahundist.
His disposition and language of cockroaches and the like is genocidal.
TS: How do you rate Mnangagwa as president?
JM: As president of what? Just how does anyone become president through a bloody military coup in a constitutional democracy in 2017?
Mnangagwa is an unmitigated disaster. In constitutional terms, he is no better than [Abel] Muzorewa, whose illegal regime was shortlived and is now forgotten as an obscure footnote in history and a constitutional opprobrium.
Just like Muzorewa, Mnangagwa is illegal and supported by the military because he’s unpopular with the masses and is thus unelectable yet he has an exaggerated Muzorewa-like “huruyadzo” mentality.
Mandarins in the coup government know this and that’s why they are currently bent on unprecedented asset-stripping and looting of state resources; they know that they are in an illegal regime with legs made of clay as was Muzorewa’s regime.
What is striking about this is that as it was that Muzorewa emerged just before Zimbabwe’s frst republic ushered in by the critical election in 1980, Mnangagwa has emerged just before the country’s second republic to be ushered in by the critical election in 2018.
In historical terms, this means that we should expect a Muzorewa-like personality, which Mnangagwa is, to preface a critical election and a new republic.
So, like that of Muzorewa, Mnangagwa’s reign will be shortlived and all its unconstitutional appointments and excesses will be reversed.
TS: Some Zimbabweans believe Grace Mugabe’s alleged push to be the next president triggered the coup. Did the former first lady plot to be the next president and what could have motivated her?
JM: The claim that Amai Dr Grace Mugabe plotted to be the next president is a Lacoste fiction that became convenient but stupid propaganda to sanitise the indefensible coup.
The fact of the matter is that the reasons for the coup are in the coup minutes and the allegation that the former first lady plotted to be the next president is not one of those reasons.
TS: In the interviews with BBC and SABC, you claimed you did not hide at Mugabe’s mansion during the coup. Mugabe in his recent interview said you were rescued by Grace who took your family and that of Saviour Kasukuwere in before they asked you to leave. Considering those conflicting statements, which version of the story about your escape is true?
JM: Well, I don’t know what you mean by “during the coup”. The coup is still on as we speak.
There’s a coup government in Zimbabwe. But no, I did not hide at President Mugabe’s house in the morning of November 15, 2017 when the coup happened.
My family and I were with Cde Kasukuwere and his family when his house came under heavy gunfire from Chiwenga’s soldiers.
During that gunfire, I got a call from Amai Dr Grace Mugabe, who knew that my family and I had joined the Kasukuweres earlier in the night and she was checking on us after receiving reports of army shootings at Dr Ignatius Chombo’s house.
When I answered the call, I told her we were under attack, asked for help to rescue the families, especially the children, who were in indescribable disbelief and shock that Chiwenga had sent soldiers to kill them.
Amai Mugabe could hear the heavy and continuous sound of gunfire as I spoke to her and she too became shocked beyond description before hanging up the call.
Some five or so minutes later, she called again and asked me how many we were in the Kasukuwere house.
I told her that Cde Kasukuwere was with his wife and three children while I was with my wife and four children making a total of 11 of us.
TS: So, how exactly did the 11 of you leave Kasukuwere’s residence to go to the Blue Roof?
JM: Amai Mugabe called again after 10 or so minutes and by this time the gunfire had gone silent and she advised that two Landcruisers, one for each family, were on their way to take us to the Blue Roof, President Mugabe’s residence, where we could leave our terrified families.
When the first Landcruiser arrived, Cde Kasukuwere put on his bulletproof vest and went outside the house and was driven to the Blue Roof.
We waited for Cde Kasukuwere to come back to advise us what was going on outside as we did not know then that he had already gone alone to the Blue Roof but when he did not return, after a little, we all started getting out of the house one by one but fearing that the soldiers were still in the vicinity.
Then the second Landcruiser arrived and the 10 of us quickly jumped in and somehow managed to fit to our great surprise and relief.
TS: And when exactly did you leave the Blue Roof, how and where to?
JM: Cde Kasukuwere and I left the Blue Roof after our arrival.
Getting out of there was not much of an issue, but getting out of the country took the intervention of angels.
l To be continued next week