Is Jonathan Moyo demonising himself?


    Choosing to attack the MDC leader in his personal capacity only seems to exposes Jonathan Moyo’s own fear of Morgan Tsvangirai’s popularity. To consider that against all odds, Tsvangirai polled 1 195 562 votes and Mugabe got 1 079 730 votes in the March 29th 2008 presidential election (, still that is not enough to earn him the respect of the politician from Tsholotsho.

    Crying louder than the bereaved

    One commentator hit the nail on the head when he said: ‘Moyo’s recent attacks of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and MDC ministers is meant to convince both his sympathisers and detractors in Zanu-pf that he is still part of them by speaking their language and crying louder than the bereaved’ (The Zimbabwe Standard, 03/10/09).

    When an audit of the diamond sales was called for by the Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Jonathan Moyo cried foul and there was a Zanu-pf outcry. Bizzarely, the state-owned Herald claimed on Wednesday 15 March 2011 that ‘nearly US$167 million has found its way into Treasury after verification and reconciliation of proceeds from diamond sales following conflicting statements by Ministers Tendai Biti and Obert Mpofu.

    Somehow, all of a sudden the Herald is the Exchequer or Treasury by determining what the proceeds from diamond sales should be used for. What the Herald needs to know is that the people of Zimbabwe would like a full audit of the diamond sales to determine who sold what, where, to whom, when, for how much and where did the proceeds go.

    Similarly, the people want a full audit of Zimbabwe’s debt to establish the amounts, dates, who authorised them, what the loans were used for because any expenditure on weapons is very controversial since Zimbabwe has never been officially at war at least with Parliament’s consent. Therefore proceeds from diamond sales cannot be diverted to clear a debt that may have been used to buy weapons or to pay people who terrorised and murdered innocent civilians during Gukurahundi or in elections because of their political views.

    Allergic to the truth

    Jonathan Moyo’s critics have described him as ‘allergic to the truth’, ‘Mugabe’s own Goebbels’, ‘ a person of acid if not twisted tongue’, ‘objective when bitter’, ‘too ambitious’, ‘not trusted’ (within Zanu-pf itself), ‘clever but not wise’ (by Robert Mugabe), ‘a controversial political figure’, someone with an ‘insatiable hatred for Tsvangirai’, ‘a political prostitute, a turncoat and a chameleon’, ‘an arrogant mafikizolo who lacked respect for elders’ and so on.

    It could be argued that Jonathan Moyo’s discomfort with democracy and the rule of law is their potential for exposing a lot of dirty linen and possibly make him account for his alleged misdeeds. Notes about Jonathan Nathaniel Moyo which are on the wikipedia website say he is considered the core architect of AIPPA and POSA (notorious laws which are still on Zimbabwe’s statute book, albeit undergoing some amendments).

    Contrary to his anti-western rhetoric, according to wikipedia, his two scholarships from the United Nations and the African American Institute enabled him graduate with a Bachelor’s (BSc) degree in public policy at the University of Southern California in 1982 where he also did his post-graduate studies.

    There are also references on the website to his ‘war with the media’ especially resentment towards The Daily News, his ‘war at home’, ‘war with foreigners’ and that he departed the Ford Foundation under a cloud after allegations that he had embezzled USD$88,000 from the organisation.

    According to The Zimbabwean of 19 October 2006 Moeletsi Mbeki, younger brother of former president Thabo Mbeki, and Witwatersrand University (Wits) had "separately applied for an order to have Zimbabwe’s former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo jailed the next he visits South Africa on allegations of absconding with millions of rands that he allegedly owes".

    Flip-flopping or a vendetta?

    Jonathan Moyo seems to court criticism with his alleged political flip-flopping and suspected vendetta. He was once asked by Munyaradzi Huni about the Gukurahundi Bill which he wanted to bring to Parliament as a way of fixing Zanu-pf before applying to re-join the same party. What is curious is not the idea of such a bill being put into law but its unexplained sudden death. But what is Moyo’s grudge against the MDC?.

    For example, he is cited in Luise White’s ‘The Assassination of Herbert Chitepo’ 2003:105 as saying:

    "The MDC is ‘a political party with its roots in the donor purse run by Rhodesians who tortured and killed Zimbabweans during our liberation struggle."

    However, Jonathan Moyo has a right to respond to reports in July 2009 that a source in the MDC party had alleged that he begged the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to include him on the list of MDC-T ministerial nominees.

    "The Prime Minister did not decline, but told him he would consult the national executive, it never got there because Minister Biti was fiercely opposed to the whole idea, arguing that Moyo brings no value to the MDC," the source said (, 20/07/09). So are Tsvangirai and Biti being made penalised for that? 

    Did Jonathan Moyo kill the Diaspora vote?

    Again according to a citation in Luise White’s book, Jonathan Moyo then information minister insisted that "Rhodesians, neo-colonialists, and other retrogressive forces" voted against the government’s proposed constitution.

    "Some of them came…all the way from South Africa, to vote in the referendum" (2003:98). Moyo reportedly said these words in a ZBC interview in February 2000. Does this explain why Zanu-pf is so hostile to the Diaspora vote? Did Jonathan Moyo kill the Diaspora vote?Are we being penalised for Zanu-pf’s defeat in the 2000 referendum?

    Downloading democracy

    It seems Zimbabwe’s democracy is definitely not downloading as the online joke goes. It works like this: Democracy in Africa – program installation: Guinea 100% complete, Tunisia 100% complete, Egypt 100% complete, Libya -Downloading, Algeria – Downloading, Ivory Coast 60% [Alert!! Virus – (named leader) detected. Trojan Horse – (named leader) in Quarantine; Congo – Connection lost since 1997 and Zimbabwe – 404 Error – Server not found! Virus (named leader) detected but cannot be deleted nor isolated. Anti-virus (named leader) needs to be up-dated.

    Food for thought for the MP for Tsholotsho.

    Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a London based political analyst and regular columnist for The Zimbabwe Mail, he can be contatcted at