Moyo's 'vile influence' on Mugabe returns

HARARE – Newly–admitted Zanu PF politburo member and political turncoat Jonathan Moyo has revealed President Robert Mugabe’s new, and underhanded election strategy by declaring that polls will be held 2011 “with or without a new constitution”.\r\n

Moyo’s latest political jibe in the state-run Sunday Mail not only served as a precursor to Mugabe’s remarks late Sunday that he could “trigger his constitutional right to dissolve parliament”, but an effrontery to South African mediator Jacob Zuma’s call for better conditions ahead of an election.

In that tirade, the ex–Information minister placed his argument for an immediate election on Zimbabwe’s hung parliament, endless constitutional and Electoral Act amendments as well as self–serving global political agreement (GPA) clauses on elections.

“The one compelling and irrefutable reason why a harmonised general election must be held as soon as possible this year is that our country does not have a fully representative, and properly functioning government… because there’s no party in the House of Assembly with at least 105 seats out of 210 necessary to command the mandate to properly govern,” Moyo said.

“In any case, Article 21 of the GPA… endorsed the possibility of elections, including by-elections, after 12 months of its implementation. Therefore, only scoundrels will oppose the holding of a harmonised general election… under the false cover of the GPA,” he added.

While Moyo’s calls for an early poll is a repudiation of his earlier view that Zanu PF should not mistake its lopsided influence of the Constitutional and Parliamentary Select Committe (Copac) process – with 80 percent of the views going its way – for votes, Mugabe is also recanting a commitment not to go it alone on the planned election.

Although several Zanu PF bigwigs have “barked up the election rhetoric”, none have emboldened the octogenarian leader’s resolve than Moyo’s “lucid technical and political assessments or points" on the possibilities of holding an election outside the GPA.

This, observers said, signalled the Tsholotsho North legislator’s return and influence on Mugabe.

Since his old days in government, Moyo has always been an integral part of a virulent core, including service chiefs, alienating and leading Mugabe further astray with controversial policies such as chaotic polls, a clampdown on the media and individual freedoms.

Taking a dig at Zuma’s roadmap proposition as a “whimsical rule of the jungle”, Moyo said no elections in Zimbabwe will be set nor conducted on the basis of such projects, which are “susceptible to all manner of foul play and evil machinations”.

“This roadmap nonsense, which has been… mischievously associated with Sadc and the regional body’s facilitator on Zimbabwe (Zuma), is totally unacceptable not only because it is borrowed from a tired American concept… that has failed in the Middle East, but also because it seeks to subvert our national sovereignty enshrined in our Constitution and undermine the same GPA,” he contemptuously said, adding the pact expressly vests the responsibility to chose their leaders on Zimbabweans.

The roadmap is, among other things, aimed at defining the conduct and date of the yet unclear election.

Calling the mainly Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations and other political players pushing for wider reforms as “electoral cowards”, Moyo said the fact that Zimbabwe’s coalition government was formed on the basis of a GPA endorsed by three political parties means “the only roadmaps” for an election are the GPA and the Zimbabwean constitution.

He said there was a “widespread, but mistaken belief” that the next election must be held and timed by a new constitution – as dictated by the Copac – yet there was nothing in the GPA to drive events as such.

Giving an insight into Zanu PF’s internal power dynamics – and ostensibly hitting out at some factional enemies – Moyo said there were people keen on manipulating the Copac process in their hopes to influence the timing and outcome of the next general election.

“Surely, that very possible outcome (referendum rejection) would not in any way foreclose the holding of national elections. This is why Zanu-PF has been very clear that the case for holding a harmonised election this year speaks for itself regardless of whether we would by then have a new constitution,” he said.

“Given the stalling tactics… that Zimbabwe’s detractors are now playing around the Copac process… nobody should be surprised if the next harmonised election is held well before the referendum on a new draft constitution,” Moyo averred, adding Copac can take “as much time as it needs”.

Emphasising his election imperative on the need to undo "an unworkable inclusive government not so much about the awkward structure of the executive, but composition of Parliament”, Moyo said insists there is no legal or political case for Zimbabwe to have a new constitution first since the “constitutional and legal framework for elections” is already in place, and elections should be held "after the tenure of the GPA next month".

“Government is formed from parliament and the current one is dysfunctional (because)… no party has the required threshold to form a proper, and fully functioning government,” he said, adding the MDC splinter groups were also using parliament to defend sanctions and call for their expansion.

Moyo also dismissed Morgan Tsvangirai and his trade union allies’ call for a presidential poll only, saying the current constitutional dispensation not only guaranteed Mugabe’s stay in power beyond the GPA, but all local plebiscites were to be held on a harmonised basis.