Nkosana Moyo shakes Zim politics

Source: Nkosana Moyo shakes Zim politics – The Standard July 2, 2017

NKOSANA Moyo created a buzz in 2001 when he did the unthinkable and dumped President Robert Mugabe, just 10 months after he was roped into his “war Cabinet”.


Moyo had been brought into Mugabe’s so-called war Cabinet as one of the technocrats that were expected to help stem the slide into an unprecedented economic crisis.

He did not last long as he sent his resignation letter from South Africa, thereby inviting a tongue lashing from Mugabe who accused him of lacking spine.

A decade later, Moyo is back in Zimbabwe and he was one of the biggest newsmakers last week after a surprise announcement that he is preparing to take on the man who believes he is spineless in next year’s elections.

Moyo unveiled Zimbabwe’s newest opposition party, the Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA), and the political landscape was shaken.

His entry revived debate about whether there is need for more political parties when over 50 groups are already struggling to dislodge 93-year-old Mugabe from power.

Leading opposition figures such as Morgan Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru, Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti have been preaching the gospel of a coalition to take on the veteran ruler but Moyo appears to be taking a different route.

He was not committal about a coalition with the older parties, leaving many wondering if he would stand a chance against Zanu PF’s mean machine.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Lloyd Sachikonye argued that Moyo could only become relevant if he embraced the coalition narrative.

“It really depends with the support that he has at the moment and how deep his pocket is,” Sachikonye said when asked about the former Trade minister’s chances against Mugabe in 2018.

“I am talking about the task ahead that needs a deep pocket because it will involve massive campaigns beyond press statements and briefings that only appear on newspapers.”

Moyo launched his bid from the comfort of Meikles Hotel, the same venue Mujuru used a year ago to tell the world that she was ready to challenge Mugabe in 2018.

Mujuru was accused of shying away from the real voters at Mupedzanamo or Zimbabwe Grounds, and the same lenses could be used to judge Moyo.

Sachikonye said it would be difficult to weigh Moyo’s chances before he presents his manifesto. He said for his bid to be taken seriously, he must move with speed to build structures for his party across the country.

“He has to respond to the discourse of coalition as it could help him on feasibility,” Sachikonye said.

Veteran University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Eldred Masunungure said Moyo had a lot of work to do if he entertained hopes of making an impact in next year’s elections.

“He needs time to cultivate supporters. He is entering a field where established parties failed,” he said.

“The bulk of the voters are frustrated and chances of winning or success are low and distant. He needs extra energy.”

However, Moyo believes a number of Zimbabweans support his bid to take on one of the world’s oldest leaders, saying he received encouragement from home and abroad.

“What has come out very clearly is that many people, both within the country and in the Diaspora are yearning for a country that embodies most, if not all, the ideals we as a people went to war for,” the APA leader told the press conference.

“Those of us who are old enough will remember the abuse we suffered at the hands of Ian Smith’s soldiers, his police, judiciary and the general injustice that was the norm of that era”.

Tsvangirai and Mujuru have already declared their interest to challenge Mugabe in next year’s polls, while leaders of other opposition parties believe a coalition is on the only viable strategy to topple the long-time ruler.