Jonathan Moyo moved from shaping public opinion to shaping the future!


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Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo has been showered with praise by his twitter followers with one, Chofamba Sithole, saying Moyo has been moved from shaping public opinion to shaping the future.

“With science & tech party hat on, that was a sensible deployment,” Sithole tweeted.

Moyo was Information Minister from 2000 to 2005 before he left the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to stand as an independent candidate for Tsholotsho North.

He was given the same portfolio after the 2013 elections.

Moyo rejoined ZANU-PF in September 2009 having once again won the Tsholotsho North seat as an independent in the 2008 elections.

Some critics have described Moyo’s reassignment from Information to Higher Education as a demotion, but Sithole tweeted: “The irrepressible @ProfJNMoyo will give any cabinet portfolio a profile much higher than any of his predecessors!”

This view was shared by Alex Magaisa former adviser to former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Writing in his blog, Magaisa said: “Moyo will also be pleased that his reassignment, confirms his strategic importance to ZANU-PF. Many people speculated that he would be sacked. But this is a reaffirmation of his strategic importance to President Mugabe and ZANU- PF who realise that even if he can be an occasional nuisance, they need him inside than outside. He gives a brain to a party that otherwise relies too heavily on brawn.”

Magaisa said, while for some Moyo’s reassignment was a demotion, what people forgot was that it was the personality of Moyo that raised the power of the Ministry of Information.

“When Moyo was given the information portfolio in 2000, he stamped his authority and personality upon the entire media landscape, and especially in the state media. In crafting AIPPA, Moyo gave ZANU-PF a piece of arsenal that effectively restricted media space and conferred huge advantages against its rivals.

“Moyo’s methods may have been crude, unconventional and sometimes brutal, especially towards the opposition, but there was no doubt that he was thoroughly effective in executing his role for President Mugabe and ZANU- PF. He earned many enemies in the process, but even his worst opponents must privately admit that he was effective in his role against them.

“If Moyo made the information ministry so powerful and effective, there is no reason why he will not do the same in another portfolio, including higher education. It is, after all, the domain in which he first made his mark as an academic. It’s familiar terrain. It was his strong personality that shone through in information and it will probably do so again in higher education.

“Moyo might take this as a challenge to demonstrate that he has what it takes to run any department of government and make it effective. There is a lot of work to be done in the country’s higher institutions of learning which have suffered badly over the years. There are many less political institutions and initiatives he can work with to revive and promote higher education. I can see Moyo taking on this challenge to demonstrate that his talents go beyond information.”

Moyo himself tweeted: “Higher & Tertiary Education, Science & Technology are the intellectual capacities that define & drive a country's competitive advantage!”

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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