Jonathan Moyo, once considered one of the fiercest government critics, says he never considered himself a government critic but was more of a critical academic.
“I never at that time styled myself as a government critic or an opposition politician. Being a government critic cannot be a career,” he told Alex Magaisa in an interview.
“I was an academic doing research and teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on electoral politics, state politics and public policy in Zimbabwe and in developing countries.
“Prior to that when I was a student in California, I had been an active member of ZANU-PF and had served as the party’s political commissar in Los Angeles. I had also worked at the party’s offices in New York.
“If you revisit my record as a lecturer at UZ, you will find that I was not just a government critic, as you put, but I was public analyst critical of various public institutions including the ruling party, government as well as other public players including opposition parties, civil society, churches and international organisations.
“I was critical of ZANU-PF as I was of PF-ZAPU joining ZANU-PF and I was brutally critical of ZUM and Edgar Tekere as I was complimentary of ZUM’s challenge to the one-party state in 1990.
“The same is true of my criticism of Enoch Dumbutshena’s Forum party, despite the excellent personal relationship I had with Dumbutshena whom I immensely respected.
“I was not a member of any political party and I did not want to be associated with any. I did not then nor would I now, as I look back, consider myself a government critic. No. I considered myself a critical academic. Full stop.”
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
Continued next page