NATIONAL AGENDA: THE THIRD WAY
The Third Way: Zimbabwe's last Chimurenga
Zimbabwe's former Information Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo is part of a new movement called the 'Third Way'. Writing exclusively for New Zimbabwe.com today, he seeks to allay the people's fears, and explain its meaning
Prof Jonathan Moyo
This solution is imminent through the emergence of a United People’s Movement which is set to fight the “The Last Chimurenga” to foster sovereignty, democracy and economic growth and development in as guiding values with practical expression in everyday life.
The Third Way is the “Last Chimurenga” and therefore a revolution. Zimbabwe is today ready for a revolution whose triple effect would be: (1) to defend and protect our national sovereignty which is now at risk of major compromise; (2) to uphold and respect democracy and human rights while discharging capable governance and (3) to pursue economic growth and development to prosper all our communities and our nation. Because of very serious internal problems they both facing within their own ranks against the backdrop of the economic and political crisis that is now very real in Zimbabwe in ways that are catastrophic, Zanu PF and the MDC cannot individually or together provide the necessary solution.
A Third Way must be found to save our country from irretrievable collapse. Happily one is now on offer as a political and economic synthesis where Zanu PF is the failed thesis and the MDC the unsuccessful antithesis. I shall elaborate on this further below.
My belief in the Third Way is not a personal wish or whim but an objective understanding I have gathered from my five years instructive experience at the echelons of Zanu PF and its government, my interactive work with ordinary people at the grassroots level and with critical elements of the intelligentsia, churches, NGOs, professionals in various fields, the youth as well as middle and upper classes across the length and breadth of our country, my engagement with many colleagues in the opposition MDC, my discussions with captains of commerce, industry and the financial sector, my debates with Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and my discussions with other Africans and interested parties from elsewhere around the world.
After all has been said and done, and notwithstanding some minor difference on points of emphasis or on some details where the devil usually hides, and despite the personalized grumblings and outburst of a few social misfits in the media whom we all know, there is now a broad based agreement that the emergence of the Third Way in Zimbabwe is not a matter of whether but when and how. There are some major current and past reasons why the Third Way in Zimbabwe has become necessary and I wish to share them with you in this discussion but first let me explain what the Third Way is not and define what it is.
THE THIRD WAY IS NOT PERSONAL
Maybe this is not necessary to say but with all the merchants of confusion and peddlers of disinformation out there, let me make it quite clear that the Third Way is not my creation or initiative. It simply cannot be “a one person issue” because it is fundamentally an expression of our history and all its contradictions. Those who think the Third Way is about me either have nothing better to do beyond idle speculation or they are ignoramuses who are more a danger to themselves than to those they seek to demonize or deceive because the truth ultimately prevails in the passage of time.
I have sometimes wondered why it is that there is a small but vocal and well connected group of individuals to whom I have always been an issue as far back as one cares to remember: before I was in Zanu PF’s government, when I became part of it and after I left it! Some of these people, conveniently forgetting that they have always been on my case, now want to give the impression that between July 2000 and February 2005 I was in charge of Zanu PF and its government and running them both all by myself and making all the laws as I wished as if I were the President of Zimbabwe.
Futile attempts have been made to even suggest that the laws I’m claimed to have crafted alone and implemented alone are worse than Robert Mugabe’s de facto one party based on the Executive Presidency Act made into law in 1987 spearheaded by the likes of Edison Zvogbo. This dreadful Act which has given Mugabe unbelievable powers for some 13 years is not a matter for debate or reform and the fact that Mugabe signs laws into statute books after they have been passed by his loyalists in a Zanu PF dominated Parliament is not an issue as long as the focus is on me!
State security agents have entered the fray by writing silly letters to the editors of various newspapers placing the deeds and misdeeds of Mugabe’s Zanu PF and its party on my shoulders. The same security agents, who should be attending to our national security instead of dabbling in party politics that Zimbabweans have a constitutional right to enjoy, have been using certain dubious newspapers that they either own or control to allege that Morgan Tsvangirai wants me to replace Gibson Sibanda as his deputy in the MDC. There can be no greater abuse of state organs and journalism than this.
Otherwise, I do indeed take full responsibility for my actions, including those of omission, and I fully accept the consequences of collective responsibility during my time in Zanu PF and its government. But I was not the President of Zimbabwe and the time has come for the President to also take responsibility and not keep behaving like a Monarch when he is a politician in power. He has a bad habit of not taking any responsibility ever since the dark days of Gukurahundi which he must have sanctioned and benefited from. The game of blaming ministers, especially junior ministers at that, has been played for too long and it must now stop.
Yes, I was government spokesperson and this meant I had to be the face of government and I fully understand that. It would be however naïve to think all was rosy behind the scenes. In any case, my widely reported conflicts with the Zanu PF old guard are a matter of public record, thanks mainly to my media detractors who highlighted those conflicts in the hope of earning me the wrath of the Zanu PF old guard with whom I had endless battles.
The Zanu PF old
guard refused to democratize and reform what they said was their party,
claiming to be founding shareholders, and that became obvious on November
18, 2004 when they illegally used a politburo meeting that did not even
have a quorum to illegally amend the Zanu PF constitution in order to
impose Joyce Mujuru as vice president. Yes, Joyce Mujuru rose to the
vice presidency by illegal imposition and not democratic election. That’s
actually the day, November 18, 2004, when I left Zanu PF and ceased
to function as government spokesman although the formalities came on
February 18, 2005 when I submitted my nomination papers as an Independent
Candidate for Tsholotsho constituency. I did this fully knowing that
the next day, February 19, 2005 I would be dismissed from my cabinet
position and would be considered to have expelled myself from Zanu PF.
Otherwise, as an individual I am happy that I represent Tsholotsho in Parliament having defeated both Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC. Robert Mugabe campaigned against me, vowing that I would never ever win in Tsholotsho but he lost and I won.
Those who have expressed foolish wonder as to why I am now attacking Zanu PF, Mugabe and government either missed the election campaign or they are just being plain silly because they are quickly forgetting that Mugabe and Zanu PF were my electoral opponents during the election campaign and I defeated them. Only a fool would now expect me not to criticize Mugabe and his Zanu PF government when they make mistakes of the kind they are making. My moral authority to criticize Zanu PF, Mugabe and his government comes from the electorate. I am in the opposition as an Independent Member of Parliament and I have a job to do and I am doing it without fear or favour
The fact that I was in Zanu PF and its government between July 2000 and February 2005 is now history as I am no longer with them and there is no chance whatsoever of going back to them not least because Zanu PF is a now a shelf party desperately trying to survive sunset. I am not the first to leave a seemingly dominant party. Mugabe himself left Zapu to join Zanu and the late Vice President Nkomo left PF Zapu to join Zanu PF. Nathan Shamuyarira was in a tribal party called Frolizi before he rejoined Zanu PF and the examples are just too many and unnecessary to mention. I am not in Zanu PF and that’s final and for the avoidance of doubt I will not join the MDC because that would be meaningless as I also defeated the MDC at the polls in Tsholotsho and there is no sense in joining a party that lost to me in an election.
But I also know and understand very well that by virtue of being an elected Member of Parliament, I have a duty and obligation to contribute to Zimbabwe’s national interest working with like minded people not just in Zanu PF and the MDC but across political persuasions. Despite endless efforts by Zanu PF to demonize it, Tsholotsho is not an island but part of Zimbabwe and what the people of Tsholotsho basically want is not different from what other Zimbabweans across the country want. That is, they want their democracy, economic development and sovereignty. They do not want to have any of these fundamental things claimed or monopolized by an individual or clique or political party.
Against this background, I have found myself as but one person out of many Zimbabweans in and outside the country who want a new dispensation in our country in pursuit of their democracy, economic development and sovereignty. In this regard, the Third Way is very handy. Nobody has a right to stop any Zimbabwean from contributing positively to this development. Those who imagine themselves to be the only ones with moral authority to free, develop or defend Zimbabwe are charlatans who are better advised not to waste our time because we have a revolution going on and we have some serious work to do and we have been at it long before 2000 when many previous cowards joined what they thought was a safe bandwagon cruising to State House in Harare.
As such, the Third Way is not about me but I fully support it and I am fully committed to its success in the interest of safeguarding and enhancing our democracy, economic development and sovereignty as Zimbabweans. Long before accepting appointment to Zanu PF central committee, politburo and Cabinet, during the appointment and now after, I have been very clear as to what my country’s permanent interests are.
I have done my level best to secure those interests and I am very proud of the effort I have made even though I realize more and better still needs to be done. I am not prepared to exchange the experience I have had for anything. In this regard, I have no apology to make to anyone, especially the noisy charlatans, and if somebody—anybody—out there expects an apology from me, they will have to wait until the end of time.
I realize that other Zimbabweans have their own rich experiences, bad and good. Some were in Zanu PF in the days of Gukurahundi, holding senior positions, and now they are in the MDC preaching human rights. Others among journalists were either editing influential publications or reporting for them during the same period when they defended and justified Gukurahundi, vilified PF Zapu and the late Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo but today they say they are champions of democracy, media freedom and human rights.
Yet others were academics who were conspicuous by their silence during the one party state debate and who claimed that the brutal destruction of PF Zapu and wanton killing of more than 20, 000 innocent civilians by Mugabe’s Zanu PF was part of national consolidation of the people’s struggle and today they want to give the foolish impression that the struggle for democracy, human rights and good governance in post independence Zimbabwe started in 2000 with the birth of the MDC. That I do not accept because it’s irrational and actually false.
And so I wish to
emphasize that the struggle for democracy, good governance and human
rights in post independence Zimbabwe did not start in 2000 with the
MDC: the road is longer and rougher than that and has many more players
than those who joined it in 2000. Also, while some went to the MDC in
2000, others went to Zanu PF and both were within their rights and the
one thing they have in common is that they joined sinking ships that
were sailing towards each other in deep waters...»
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