Jonathan Moyo bounces back as Information Minister
HARARE – The chief architect of "legendary" oppressive media laws, Professor Jonathan Moyo bounces back as the Media, Information and Publicity Minister in the new proposed GNU. Through heavy lobbying by Emmerson "Ngwena" Mnangagwa, the return of Jonathan Moyo will surely cause tremors in the beleaguered nation searching and scrambling for peace and unit. Professor Moyo and Professor Mutambara in the same cabinet meeting is some gathering resembling a lecture-room lesson on "dark matter".
Information is one of the disputed Ministries which the MDC is claiming.
As Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo made his reputation as the architect of the government’s campaign to silence criticism, and still had time to get his own revolutionary jingles aired on state television. His jingle "Land is the economy, the economy is Land" occupied Billboards and took acres of space in State media.
Though he quickly fell from grace after challenging the president’s authority, he left behind his legacy of laws that effectively deny government critics a means of disseminating information.Moyo’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, passed in 2002, was used to shut down the country’s only independent daily newspaper, The Daily News. The laws also were used to jail independent Zimbabwean journalists and expel or bar foreign journalists.
He also shut down two independent radio stations.
Moyo controlled the government’s television and radio broadcaster. He cancelled its contracts for news supplied by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the United States CNN network.
He fired several broadcast presenters and largely banished Western music and movies from the airwaves. An amateur musician, he ordered the broadcaster to run jingles he composed and revolutionary songs praising the often-violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms.Moyo’s downfall began in when he convened a meeting to oppose Mugabe’s choice of Joyce Mujuru as the first woman Vice-President after the death in 2003 of Mugabe’s long-time aide and ally, Vice-President Simon Muzenda at age 80.
Moyo was reprimanded by the ruling party and dropped from the 50-member politburo, its top policy-making body, and its 250 member central committee.
Moyo now an independent legislator, recently joined hands with former Zanu PF politburo Dumiso Dabengwa to revive PF Zapu a few weeks ago, after a brief flirtation with the MDC Mutambara, and this latest twist to join Robert Mugabe’s government as Information Minister will surely put a new script of a crafty political prostitute who does anything to suit his political hubris.It is reported that Moyo was invited back into the fold by his long-time political ally Emmerson Mnangagwa to lead "Ngwena"’s final push as the heir apparent of the ageing Robert Mugabe. Infact, those in the know, say Moyo has been highly involved in the Zanu PF power-games from the sidelines.The motor-mouthed, sharp tongued Political Science Professor has been all over the place in the last couple of years since his dismissed from the position of Minister of Information at the height of the Tsholotsho saga that sought to oust Robert Mugabe.Jonathan Moyo caused a furore when he addressed journalists at the Quill Club in Harare on Thursday, July 10. He dismissed Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai as lacking leadership qualities, while fiercely defending the legitimacy of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial re-election on June 27, a departure from his customary disparagement of Mugabe. Relations between Moyo and Tsvangirai had thawed in the run-up to March 11 when the MDC withdrew its parliamentary candidate from Tsholotsho constituency to clear the way for Moyo, but he made a dramatic political gymnastic summersault and resorted to his diatribe anti opposition statements and his usual discredited political predictions.It is reported in the The Zimbabwe Times that Jonathan Moyo was approached by Emmerson Mnangagwa and was tasked to run the country’s most violent presidential election in the modern history of mankind.Innocent Villagers and opposition supporters were killed, tortured and rapped mostly in Mashonaland, Manicaland and Masvingo Provinces in an orgy of brutal campaign led by War Veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda and hired mercenaries from the Great Lakes region. Before joining the government, Moyo taught at the main University of Zimbabwe in Harare in the 1980s. Then, he contributed highly critical articles to independent newspapers and magazines, accusing Mugabe’s party of being authoritarian, outdated in its avowed Marxist policies and misguided in its alliances with China, the Soviet Union and bankrupt East bloc nations.
Prior to joining Mugabe’s cabinet, Moyo worked at the Ford Foundation in Kenya where it is alleged he concocted some fantastic project ideas and managed to get millions of dollars but never delivered on the projects. He slipped into South Africa where similar allegations followed at Wits University before being appointed to the Constitutional Commission in 1999, never to return.
After the government’s defeat in the constitutional referendum, observers say Moyo felt that this was a direct challenge on him. His former peers at the University of Zimbabwe like Professor Welshman Ncube had opposed the government constitution. His ego had been punctured and he had to gain revenge, even if it meant going into bed with his arch-enemy, Robert Mugabe.
Although he was a mere spokesman, he stole the limelight by remaining close to journalists with regular nights of free booze which he sponsored. When Mugabe made him his information minister, Moyo’s tune remarkably changed: "Mugabe is someone who accommodates, someone who listens (and) will naturally treat his enemies with understanding."The return of Jonathan Moyo will surely cause anxieties in the majority of peace loving Zimbabwean people who have been subjected to ridicule and left bereft of press freedom by the idle unemployed Political Science Professor who might team up with another jobless Professor, Arthur Mutambara, and his Secretary General "The Prince of Darkness" Professor Welshman Ncube and many other holders of Doctorates in Robert Mugabe’s cabinet, all coming together in a goverment of national unity besieging the less sophisticated humble MDC leadership.
It never rains!