By Lulu Brenda Harris
SELF-exiled and former Zanu PF government minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, remains defiant about the illegitimacy of the military intervention that toppled former President Robert Mugabe saying Zimbabweans must not embrace such an administration that is led by the “most feared people in the history of Zimbabwe.”
The former minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, alleged the backing of President Emmerson Mnangangwa by the world was an international conspiracy, whose support of a “dictatorship that rose to power via the bullets” would bring bad experiences for Zimbabweans.
Speaking publicly about the coup for the first time during an interview on BBC Hardtalk held Thursday morning, from an unnamed location, Prof Moyo said Zimbabweans had to brace themselves to live under a system that has no regards to rule of law because it will be foolhardy to expect President Mnangagwa to restore constitutionalism when he and his vice president, Constantino Chiwenga (former army general) grabbed power illegally and subverted their will.
“Every right thinking Zimbabwean would like to see the restoration of the constitutionalism and legitimacy in Zimbabwe. It is not about any individual, it is about the rule of the law. The constitution of the country has been subverted and there has to be return to constitutionalism and we do not expect the very same people who overthrew the constitution to restore it,” he said.
Prof Moyo insists that President Mnangagwa’s coming in is illegal and even though the international world had accepted his rule, it were the ordinary Zimbabweans who had to live with that consequence.
“It is not the world which chooses the leaders of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe has a constitution and Mnangagwa and Chiwenga they know only too well that they have come into power via the bullet not the ballot. The constitution of Zimbabwe requires people to come into power via the ballot and it is the people of Zimbabwe who will decide.
“If the world wants to be at odds with the popular will of the people of Zimbabwe that is up to them. We can only be concerned about the Republic of Zimbabwe, the views so the people of Zimbabwe. The international conspiracy that supports a dictatorship that has come to power via the bullets is another story that will not be experienced by the people of Zimbabwe for the first time.”
He said it was unfortunate Zimbabweans could not see the greater picture of fighting imperialism that was now a result of the neo liberal agenda brought by the international community and President Mnangagwa’s administration.
Prof Moyo even likened the former president – Mugabe to Fidel Castro, late Cuban leader who was strongly against western imperialism but decried that Zimbabweans were not like Cubans.
“No I haven’t spoken to the first family because of the circumstances that have arisen, I look forward to doing so especially speaking to President Mugabe, he is Zimbabwe Castro’s unfortunately Zimbabwe is not Cuba and Zimbabweans are not Cubans because our politics have been influenced by a neo colonial relationship with the white settle economy and with Britain.”
He hinted that it was pleasing to note Zimbabweans were now beginning to ask questions about what really happened since the November coup.
“Forget about me, Zimbabweans in the country are asking fundamental questions about what happened, why it happened and they want to see restoration of the rule of law and constitutionalism in Zimbabwe and they will get it. In spite of this coup, the fact of the matter is Zimbabwe has come of age, it is a country of laws.
“We have a new constitution, this is a constitution that the people of Zimbabwe made for themselves and it has been broken and it has been broken via a coup and if anyone out there thinks Zimbabweans are going to embrace the coup, entrench these leaders when they know a very worrying fact. Right now the cabinet of Zimbabwe is led by the most feared people in the history of this country. They are feared because they are associated with every atrocity that happened from Gukurahundi to Murambatsvina, Zimbabwe cannot be expected to embrace the most feared individuals in the history of the country.”
Prof Moyo swore he will not be seeking immunity nor will he accept if it from President Mnangagwa’s administration were offered to him.
“Now when you have people who have deployed themselves, taken over all the institutions of the state and government you don’t discuss immunity with them. When the devil offers you immunity you will be a fool to enter into what is called a forsten baggage…”
Described as the brains behind Generation 40 (G40), said to be close to Mugabe and his wife, others have alleged Prof Moyo is the most hated by Zimbabweans. To some, he was a figure that tried to popularise an unpopular government. Now, Prof Moyo is probably one of the most wanted individuals in Zimbabwe by authorities.
However, Prof Moyo refuses to be called a fugitive, saying he “left legally” and there was no warrant of his arrest when he left the country legally. He only ran away from death.
“I cannot be a fugitive, I want to remind you When I left Zimbabwe there was no warrant of arrest against me, I did not run away from any warrant of arrest I ran away, if you want to use those terms from a death warrant an unlawful attack on my house by military people.
“There is no one in the world who would simply sit there and say come and attack come and kill you do not implement justice by sending armed soldiers to attack a civilian’s residence so I am not bothered about that question because at some point the rule of law and constitutionalism will speak.”
The former Zanu PF ideology architect claimed he has evidence that his life was in danger and it since become clear that the new administration is targeting individuals who were against their political ambitions.
“Fortunately, there is something called international law, I want to be make clear there was no warrant of arrest against me, there was only a death warrant and we have incontrovertible evidence in black and white a documentation that shows what the intention of the junta in Harare was what in regards to my security and that of my colleagues. They have since their coup, started framing all sorts of political charges in the guise of criminal charges.
“They said they were targeting criminals surrounding president Mugabe but we now know but we now know they were talking about political criminals and they have not come up with crimes that rise to the level of charges warrant the interest or action of Interpol they are people in pursuit of apolitical agenda they believe we committed political crimes by supporting President Mugabe and not supporting them so this is very strange and unique definition of criminals only unique to Zimbabwe I repeat there is international law…”
Prof Moyo also dismissed both corruption allegations levelled against him, saying he never took a cent for his own gain and the state’s efforts to arrest those who are said to be corrupt.
“There is no such evidence that they have put, anyway they are going after who they allege hoarding beans, rice and such things…”
He said reports that he was denied asylum in Kenya were false reports as others, emanating from efforts to fish for his whereabouts.
“You can’t have people become stateless just because some individuals have grabbed power in their home country that is not international law we do not live in the jungle anymore so these questions will resolve themselves in the fullness of time,” Prof Moyo noted.
The former minister warned that the country might not even go for elections this year because the new administration was afraid of elections.
“He (Mnangagwa) can’t hold free and fair elections, he cannot! There has not been a single case of a government that has come to power via the bullet (that has managed to run credible elections.)”
As to whether he was talking to an intermediary about his fate in Zimbabwe, Prof Moyo stood his ground and said such matter cannot be discussed with an “illegal regime.”
He defined an illegal regime as one that came into power in violation of the constitution.
“That regime may be in effective control of the territory but it is an illegal regime, it is an illegitimate regime…”
Prod Moyo claimed that when Mnangagwa and Chiwenga went to (MDC-T leader) Morgan Tsvangirai’s house they pretended that they were concerned about his health but he knows they wanted to negotiate with him to postpose elections for at least three years.
“They are afraid of elections, they don’t want to have free and fair elections,” he insisted.
The former minister said his crime was to support Mugabe and his wife, stating that it was not even a crime for her to express ambition or say who should lead the country because she too as a politician was entitled to her views.
“The fact that some people and who may be in fact a minority have issues with Dr Grace Mugabe does not mean it is a crime to support her no one can sustain that view it is only the people who decide who will lead them through an election, you do not prevent an election through a military coup simply arguing that you do not like Grace Mugabe.
“It is unprofessional for an army to do that, the Zimbabwe National Army under Chiwenga has joined the ranks under of banana republics where military individuals intervene because they don’t like this individual, they like that individual, they have reduced our country into a country of good guys versus the bad guys.
“As far as I was concerned, Grace Mugabe was not only the first lady, she was also Secretary for Women’s Affairs in the ruling party and that position is very serious and as a leader, a top leader she was entitled, one to discharge her programme and two, express her views about who should occupy whatever office. She was entitled to that,” he argued.
Like Judas Iscariot who sold Jesus for 30 gold shilling and in this case, Prof Moyo alluded that some Zanu PF members who participated in the humiliation of desposed Mugabe were also betrayers.
Prof Moyo used the platform to pledge his dedication to Mugabe, saying he was “very proud” to have served under him.
“…we accept as we did even as we were in government that there were challenges facing the country, we know what some of the reasons for some of those policy challenges are but unfortunately the president put faith in the people who have now turned against him and who used his assignment of responsibility to in fact plot his downfall.
“Zimbabweans are already demanding, they want to know what happened to President Mugabe, he was humiliated by the very same people who said they want to his restore his legacy who were claiming to be targeting others around him when in fact they were targeting Mugabe and they targeted him in a humiliating and totally unacceptable,” he said.