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reinstates Moyo to Zanu-PF leadership
Jason Moyo, Mail and Gaurdian (SA)
January 12, 2011
Jonathan Moyo, the controversial spin doctor expelled
from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF, is on the political comeback trail.
At Zanu-PF's national conference in Mutare before
Christmas, President Robert Mugabe recalled him to the party's politburo,
its highest decision-making body.
It was an indication of Moyo's reviving political
fortunes in what he once described as "a party of octogenarians"
-- he was last in the 50-member politburo in February 2005 before
Mugabe fired him from government. But judging by the roar of applause
that met his reappointment, as well as the smiles of party officials
and the gyrating women who welcomed him back, Zanu-PF and its "Dear
Leader" are prepared to forgive and forget.
Mugabe told delegates: "I don't want to call
him a prodigal son. He is back as he was working in the party; he
has talent and I am sure we will be satisfied with his work."
With elections expected this year, Zanu-PF will
need Moyo's "talent" as a former spin doctor in government
to drive the party's propaganda machine.
Political observers acknowledge that he was instrumental
in securing the presidency for Mugabe in 2002 amid a wave of anti-Zanu-PF
sentiment among voters.
Although Zanu-PF did not immediately announce Moyo's
role in the politburo, media reports tipped him for the post of
deputy political commissar, a post left vacant by the death of Ephraim
Masawi last year.
This would be a new chapter in his zig-zagging 10-year
political career in which he has been a government spokesperson,
Zanu-PF information and publicity minister, an amateur musician
who crafted the incessant pro-Mugabe jingles aired every five minutes
on the state broadcaster, an ardent critic of Mugabe and on two
occasions Zimbabwe's sole independent legislator for the Tsholotsho
North constituency. His oscillating loyalties led Mugabe to label
him a "deviant".
Moyo was also
the alleged architect of the repressive Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public
Order and Security Act. He orchestrated the closure of several
independent newspapers in 2003.
In 2004 Moyo fell out of favour with Mugabe for
allegedly organising the Tsholotsho Declaration where he lobbied
several Zanu-PF bigwigs to support the appointment of Emmerson Mnangagwa
as vice-president at its December national conference ahead of current
incumbent Joyce Mujuru. An angry Mugabe fired him and suspended
several party officials linked to the succession plot.
Last year, however, Moyo rejoined Zanu-PF and began
to dress down the Movement for Democratic Change, accusing it of
working with the United States to set up a parallel government to
effect regime change.
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC assisted Moyo's re-election in 2008 as an
independent legislator for Tsholotsho North by not fielding its
own candidate in that constituency, on the understanding that Moyo
would side with the MDC in Parliament.
But Moyo has continued to be critical of the MDC. In the latest
example he pounced on the WikiLeaks disclosures to claim that they
prove MDC collaboration with American imperialism.
Moyo told the Mail & Guardian: "We want
elections now, as this unity government is already unworkable.
a tragedy that President Mugabe has to sit in Cabinet with Morgan
Tsvangirai who then goes to plot with America to effect illegal
and systematic regime change in the country. And you guys want to
give Tsvangirai the Nobel peace prize."
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