Makoni, for years a senior member of President Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) party, on February 5, 2008 announced the launch of MKD challenging Robert Mugabe for the presidency. He garnered only an eight per cent vote in the 2008 election, which he claims was stolen from him, and has now set his sights on the presidency.
The chemical engineer-cum-politician said his party was alarmed by reports of violence ahead of elections that Mugabe wants mid next year. Makoni said he feared the next election would again be fought through intimidation and coercion. However, the MKD leader, for years a member of the Zanu (PF) Politburo and the party’s deputy secretary of Economic Affairs, said he did not fear the violence, claiming the hit squads have spared him.
"I don’t have bodyguards like Morgan has and if I haven’t been attacked. It’s not because I have a security wall around me, it’s because the people who would attack me agree with my message and see no reason to do so." Makoni, a former executive secretary of SADC, said the regional body appeared stymied.
"I would like to concede that SADC leaders and indeed other African leaders should be expressing themselves a lot more forcefully in disapproving of what’s happening in Zimbabwe. They haven’t done that," Makoni said. "And I would encourage them to do that."
Between 2000 and 2002, Makoni served as Finance and Economic Development minister in Mugabe’s Cabinet, but stood up to the veteran leader over economic policy in 2002 and was sacked for his trouble. Makoni says he has the magic formula to end Zimbabwe’s political stalemate.
"I expect to do a lot more than Mugabe and Tsvangirai because the way we are looking at the role of our leaders in our country, and I dare say in our continent also, is very different from Mugabe and Tsvangirai’s perspective," Makoni said.
"We are about service, we are about contribution and commitment. We are not about power, control or command. And that’s very different from the brand of politics we have experienced, and that is where the contribution will come from."