All of a sudden, the perennial anti-British rhetoric has been shelved and cricket diplomacy is being mooted as the suitable midwife for a revival of Anglo-Zimbabwean relations. How imaginative of the serial flip-flopper!
“… I think it is safe to say there have been attempts by both sides to reach out and there have been some re-engagements and there have been attempts to solve things on the cricket front, which would be one useful entry point”, Jonathan Moyo said (The Guardian 12/06/11).
What is strange about Moyo’s suggestion of the so-called re-engagement with Britain is that Zimbabwe and Britain already have diplomatic relations at full ambassadorial level and there is no problem, at least for now. Curiously, Moyo suggests cricket as a useful entry point. It’s not clear if his suggestion of cricket was influenced by the proximity of the Zimbabwe cricket grounds to State House.
If someone in the opposition had suggested their party or leader to re-engage the British government, there is no doubt the move would have been seen as aimed at regime change therefore ‘treasonous’! Considering the fact that the definition of treason in Zimbabwe only applies to the opposition, it’s not surprising that Jonathan Moyo has immunity to suggest what he would not want the opposition to ever dream of. Even watching recorded BBC and AlJazeera coverage of the Jasmine Revolutions in North Africa can see you behind bars without access to a lawyer as long you are in the opposition.
But, has Jonathan Moyo forgotten what he wrote in July 2006? In an opinion piece that was bravely entitled ‘Mugabe’s mess doesn’t require British solution’, Zimbabwe Independent, 08/07/06, Moyo did not mince his words, but amazingly today he is Mugabe’s spin doctor extraordinaire and has never been arrested for political offences.
In the stinging attack Jonathan Moyo said that one major outcome of the Banjul meeting between Mugabe and the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was that ‘Mugabe’s quest for self-preservation has now taken him back to the colonial trappings of the 1979 Lancaster Talks’ He said that the mediation between Zimbabwe and Britain by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa ‘smarks of colonial history repeating itself – but now as farce.’
The controversial Zimbabwean politician believed Mugabe hoped to use Mkapa’s mediation to initiate direct settlement talks with Britain as Zimbabwe’s former colonial power: ‘and this after 26 years of the much-touted sovereignty and self-determination’ during which Zanu-pf has been rallying the nation to become “our own liberators”.
To Jonathan Moyo, the Banjul Meeting had a decidedly colonial outcome in that Mugabe used it to reveal his yearnings for a British solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.
‘He now wants the world to believe his Zanu-pf propaganda that the cause of the Zimbabwean crisis is a bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain that started after the land reform programme in 2000”, Moyo said, describing Mugabe as ‘principally a colonial politician steeped in an outdated nationalistic outlook.’
The former independent MP for Tstholotsho was very critical of African leaders with a ‘mendacious nationalist outlook’ which makes them to always blame their former colonial powers for every major ill in their national politics or economy while accepting no responsibility whatsoever for their own policies or lack thereof. That is why such leaders come across as opposition politicians when they are actually in power’.
Moyo said, ‘this perhaps explains why Mugabe has remained incorrigibly unable to understand that the cause of the Zimbabwean crisis is deeply national and urgently requires a national solution from and by Zimbabweans supported by the international community.’
Few would disagree with the assertion that the Zimbabwean crisis requires a national solution, however in typical fashion Jonathan Moyo has changed again, and has a new project after the failed anti-sanctions 2 million signatures campaign. He is now on a new mission to convince the whole world that the solution is Britain, probably to justify the ‘puppets tag’ which Zanu-pf attaches on the opposition by preferring to talk with ‘their handlers’ rather than with them albeit holding weekly cabinet meetings with their coalition partners.
On that basis, it is safe to say that Jonathan Moyo changes faster than traffic lights. For example in the interview with SABC’s Radio 702 which was aired on 9th June 2011 Jonathan Moyo claimed Western sanctions were causing unemployment in Zimbabwe, but he forgot that in 2006 he wrote an article entitled “Sanctions – an empty propaganda line!”
In the article Moyo said: ‘For example, Mugabe claimed, as part of his new propaganda line, that the economic suffering in the country is being caused by so-called illegal economic sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and some white members of the Commonwealth.’ The MP claimed Zanu PF leadership ‘is now brain dead, hence its policy delinquency’ although he denied criticising Zanu-pf leaders and its policies in the SABC interview.
How will the professor of contradictions reconcile his declaration that ‘Zimbabwe will never be a colony again’ but is calling for talks with Britain, forgetting that he once said Britain is not the solution to the Zimbabwean crisis? So, is Jonathan Moyo a serial denialist?
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, email@example.com