Source: “Why l’m running for presidency” – The Zimbabwe Independent June 30, 2017
AFTER several months of speculation, former Industry and International Trade minister Nkosana Moyo (NM) yesterday launched his 2018 presidential election bid at a time the economy is underperforming, Zanu PF is engulfed in factional strife and opposition parties are yet to coalesce against President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe Independent projects editor Bernard Mpofu (BM) speaks to Moyo on his campaign, political economy and governance. Below are excerpts of the interview:
BM: When you unceremoniously left government, President Mugabe chided you for being spineless. What do you say to that?
NM: I invite you to think about a number of scenarios. If you are a member of a football team or netball team, and you are a member of seven or 11 as the case may be and you are the only one in that team that believes in a particular strategy and everybody else believes in a different strategy, do you think you are going to succeed? Does staying in that team when you don’t believe in what it’s doing indicate courage or weakness? My humble opinion is that staying where you know you are not adding value, where you know what you believe in is not going to be followed, none of your advice is going to be taken is being cowardly. So I don’t think leaving was cowardly, I think staying would have been cowardly.
BM: What political message do you want to convey to Zimbabweans under the current environment?
NM: What I want Zimbabweans to understand is that our country is not supposed to be where it is today but I also want them to understand that it is our responsibility to take it out of that circumstance. We cannot expect anybody else to do it for us and what it requires firstly is that we choose very carefully who our leaders are because we have evidence that not all leaders create a prosperous and peaceful Zimbabwe. That is why we are where we are. So we have got an opportunity next year at the elections to go back to basics and start again and make very careful choices on who should lead us, who will understand that leadership is about serving the people not about being served by the people which at the moment is happening. Whether it is the police or whatever, the system is there to take from you as opposed to enabling you to feed your family for you to succeed. I’m saying there is an opportunity next year and I’m promising Zimbabweans that if they choose me I would offer them servant leadership. I would lead to make Zimbabwe succeed, to make Zimbabweans prosper not me. I don’t need it but I’m a proud Zimbabwean and I think it’s a tragedy that our country is where it is today because I would argue that Zimbabwe does not absolutely have to be here.
BM: What is your view on the indigenisation policy and the land reform programme, policies which Zanu PF has arguably used in past elections as trump cards?
NM: In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with those policies. Our challenge in this country has always been in the execution. Most people, including white farmers and the World Bank, agreed that land in Zimbabwe had to be distributed or redistributed. The only issue was: could we do it in a principled and systematic way? That was the only debate so I believe in land distribution, I believe in indigenisation because indigenisation simply means let the citizens of the country in which an economy operates be participants in that economy.
Anything else leads to instability.
BM: What is the idea behind the Alliance for People’s Agenda?
NM: Because it is about people, that name is sending a very clear message that it’s not about me, it’s not about the leaders, it’s about the people. Once we get a leadership which really gets it, that everything you do as a leader is to be a servant of the people. So the alliance has to pay attention to the people’s agenda, to the people’s issues, then you will get real leadership.
BM: Some critics say your project could be tantamount to another Simba Makoni project meant to split the vote. What do you say to that?
NM: I would like to think again that we as Zimbabweans have travelled a journey. 2008 appears like a long time ago and the circumstances in this country were not the same as they are now. I would like to think Zimbabweans are not stupid, my mother can hardly read but she is anything but stupid. So I don’t even confuse education with the ability to analyse what is going on in this country. Zimbabweans, at the time when the Simba project happened, firstly Simba was very senior in Zanu PF. I supported Simba, I took time off my work to go and support Simba but we are also aware that in a lot of people’s minds, there was doubt whether Simba was a Zanu PF project. Had he really left Zanu or not?
That was one issue and then the second issue was that Zimbabweans, I suppose because of the information available to them and the experience the country had travelled up to that point, probably decided that because of that uncertainty they put their votes elsewhere. Now we know that Morgan (Tsvangirai) supposedly won that election but, like I said before, instead of Zimbabweans saying we are not accepting anybody doing anything else with our results, we collectively let it happen. We, not Morgan. And once we take that responsibility, I think we will be fine. Secondly, I have never been a member of Zanu PF so I hope that Zimbabweans are clear that this issue of ambivalence of whether I’m a Zanu project or not is clearer.
More so in 2001 I left a government which was doing the wrong things, there is evidence in terms of track record. Lastly, a lot of things have happened which have demonstrated to all of us that this country is headed in the wrong direction.
BM: Why now?
NM: There is always a time for everything. Now I feel it is the time.
BM: What are your views on the planned grand coalition of opposition parties seeking to dislodge Mugabe?
NM: For me it depends on for what. Power to do what? Let me answer the question in a different way. I think what this country requires is a contestation for leadership. I am not setting out to fight MDC or to fight Zanu PF. I am setting out to compete with the leaders who are offering themselves to then lead all Zimbabweans.