Has Jonathan Moyo threatened a military coup in Zimbabwe?

After reading his latest instalment, “Livingstone report now a matter for historians’, New Zimbabwe, 19/06/11 it is clear that Jonathan Moyo has crossed the line by blackmailing the people against negotiating a roadmap for free and fair elections.

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Jonathan Moyo warns of “the looming danger which (he does not specify) …will happen as sure as tomorrow is coming… that what is currently a political process will become a national security matter.  If that happens, all hell will break loose.” What does he mean by that? Has Jonathan Moyo threatened a military coup in Zimbabwe?

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Does he mean resorting to “ruling through “GBO”(Government By Operations) led by jittery security arms” as he once claimed, saying they (JOC) “implemented an undeclared state of emergency and roped in the Reserve Bank to pursue an unprecedented law and order approach to monetary policy in order to criminalise Zimbabweans…to inhuman and barbaric attacks in the name of restoring order reminiscent of the Gukurahundi days.” (Jonathan Moyo, “Why Mugabe should go now”, on October 29, 2006).

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Unless the military disowns his scare tactics, they risk being complicit to what amounts to as a treasonous act of threatening a constitutional government. By remaining silent, the JOC could become Moyo’s puppets by default by virtue of his two major assets – a fluent command of English and a deceitful skill at spinning.

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Jonathan Moyo deliberately misrepresents Zimbabwe’s tragic electoral history and curiously apportions blame for the 5-week delay in announcing election results to foreign countries. Has he forgotten what he said in April 2008:

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“If there is one sobering thing that can be unequivocally said about why the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has scandalously delayed the announcement of the March 29 presidential election, it is simply that President Robert Mugabe did not win the election and is now desperately trying to steal the result through an unjustified recount because he does not have any prospect of winning a run-off or a re-run,” (Jonathan Moyo, ‘Mugabe can’t stomach defeat,’ 13 April 2008). He did not stop there.

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“Against this background, ZEC’s perverse delay in announcing the result of the presidential election leaves Zimbabweans and the international community with only one gloomy conclusion: the defeated Mugabe and his shocked hangers-on are using the delay to scheme up a dirty game plan whose nefarious purpose is to reverse Tsvangirai’s electoral victory with the collusion of ZEC at all cost and by any means available. This is being done under a barrage of confused and confusing Zanu PF talk around a recount, runoff or rerun when the result has not been announced,” Moyo said. Ironically, that time Moyo did not accuse those he called “the UK, US and EU imperialists” of regime change!

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Contrary to Jonathan Moyo’s claim that “Zimbabwe is capable of holding free, fair and credible elections because it has the legal and institutional bedrock upon which it has done so in the past,” preliminary findings of an empirical study which I am conducting for my DPhil programme, the proposal of which is at the University of Zimbabwe, show that the administration of Zimbabwe’s elections has been militarized, politicized, flawed, and the elections were fraught with electoral malpractices as evidenced by inter alia, violence, murder, rape, scores of electoral petitions and the voters’ roll which is grossly defective.

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My DPhil research proposal now with POLAD, UZ is entitled “Towards a new theory – a critical analysis of the militarization of Zimbabwe’s elections (2000 – 2011) and the implications for good governance”.

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Observations by one scholar revealed the bizarre case of Bulawayo, where the number of spoilt ballots at a polling station was higher than those of the winning candidate and that it took ZEC only two days to announce the final results for the 27 June 2008 run-off, and within a few hours the winning candidate had been crowned the President of Zimbabwe although it took 5 weeks to announce March 2008 results!

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Furthermore, Professor R W Johnson, of the South African Institute of Race Relations recently announced that no fair referendum or election can be held in Zimbabwe on the basis of the current voters’ roll because it has about 2.5 million fictitious voters on it.

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If anything is now history, it is Jonathan Moyo’s parliamentary seat of Tsholotsho which he should have resigned after he crossed the floor to Zanu-pf because he is now short-changing the people of Tsholotsho who deserve a fair representation in Parliament. In fact the Electoral Law Act should be amended to clearly state that you lose your seat on crossing the floor fullstop.

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After all the people of Tsholotsho did not know Jonathan Moyo before he was imposed on them by Robert Mugabe, who, in his own words at the funeral of the late Witness Mangwende at the National Heroes Acre in Harare in May 2005, said the chiefs of Tsholotsho, where Moyo was standing as an independent candidate after being barred from representing Zanu PF, told him (Mugabe) that they did not know Moyo until he was imposed on them by the president (Daily News, 02/05/05).

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Of course, Jonathan Moyo knows very well that he would lose immunity from prosecution for alleged criminal offences should he resign as an MP. Moyo is also aware of the fact that there should have been a by-election in Tsholotsho by now, were it not for the GPA despite lambasting it religiously whenever he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.

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Two requests worth making are, first for a National Day of Prayer so that Jonathan Moyo’s unspecified threat of “the looming danger …which if it happens..all hell will break loose” (synonymous with a coup?) does not materialise; secondly, that Zanu-pf should takeaway his internet access so that he does not cause alarm and despondency in the country through his articles.

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However, it’s unlikely they will succeed because Mugabe told a rally in Masvingo in February 2005 that he and vice President Joyce Mujuru had spent nearly one and half hours trying to convince Jonathan Moyo to step down and allow the Politburo to have its way on the candidate for Tsholotsho constituency, but he had refused because ” ane musoro wakaoma sedamba” (meaning he has a very hard head like that of a wild fruit called Damba in Shona).

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Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com