Information Minister Jonathan Moyo says former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono’s outburst that factionalism in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was responsible for his disqualification as Senator for Manicaland was a clear indication that Gono was desperate to become senator. “It is abundantly self-evident that, by any means available or not Dr Gono is desperate to be Senator for Manicaland province, a provincial parliamentary seat he apparently mistakes for Buhera district. This explains why he has become so emotional and reckless about his comments to the point of displaying his ignorance of the law in public.” Moyo also said there was nothing like a Mugabe faction. Gono and Vice-President Joice Mujuru have said they do not belong to any faction except that of President Robert Mugabe. “It is preposterous and objectionable in the extreme for Dr Gono to claim that he is “remaining out of all factions except that of and led by the President”. President Mugabe does not have and does not lead a faction. The President leads ZANU-PF, the government and the nation of Zimbabwe. In other words, President Mugabe leads not some, but all of us Zimbabweans. An aspiring Senator is ordinarily expected to understand this basic fact.”
PRESS STATEMENT BY JONATHAN MOYO ON GONO ISSUE
The Ministry wishes to correct three gross misrepresentations in a statement attributed to Dr Gideon Gono and widely reported today by the mainstream media.
Firstly, Dr Gono is reported to have, in a manner of speaking, claimed that alleged factional detractors are behind the disqualification of his nomination by ZANU PF as a Senatorial candidate in Manicaland province to fill the seat left vacant by Cde Kumbirai Kangai who passed on in August last year.
Dr Gono reportedly told the media that he “duly transferred as a voter from Harare to Buhera West on 5 December, 2013”, adding that “The Registrar General’s Office gave me confirmation of transfer which ZEC has got. Why the two organisations cannot manage transitions and authenticate transfers between themselves boggles the mind. It is clear that someone from outside the province is playing games … like ZEC says, there is a vacuum in the law so that vacuum needs filling regardless of whether it is Gono or not”.
It is abundantly self-evident that, by any means available or not, Dr Gono is desperate to be a Senator for Manicaland province, a provincial parliamentary seat he apparently mistakes for Buhera district. This explains why he has become so emotional and reckless about his comments to the point of displaying his ignorance of the law in public.
The fact of the matter is that when Dr Gono sought and was given by the Registrar General a confirmation of transfer of his voter registration from a constituency in Harare to Buhera West on 5 December, 2013, that confirmation on that date was a legal nullity as the Registrar General ceased to have the legal authority to effect such transfers on July 10, 2013.
The fact that Dr Gono was, as he still maybe, ignorant of this legal position is not a defence. Furthermore it is neither fair nor responsible for Dr Gono to blame anyone else for his ignorance of the law.
Meanwhile, it is common cause that the transfer from the Registrar General to ZEC of the authority and power to register voters was created not by Dr Gono’s alleged detractors but by the new Constitution and is therefore a very public constitutional matter which has nothing whatsoever to do with real or imagined factionalism in ZANU PF.
Furthermore, it is common cause that the Government is seized with the mammoth task of aligning existing laws with the new Constitution and that this task is being undertaken in a comprehensive way through a General Laws Amendment Bill, with respect to consequential or technical amendments. The transfer from the Registrar General to ZEC of the responsibility to register voters is but one example of the pending alignment of laws with the new Constitution to be included in a General Laws Amendment Bill that Government is drafting.
Rather than personalising this process, distorting facts and casting aspersions while publicly displaying his ignorance of the law, Dr Gono should tell voters in Buhera in particular and Manicaland in general why he did not register as a voter there by 10 July, 2013, ahead of elections last year, as provided in the law, because doing so would have enabled him to cast his vote in a province he so desperately now wants to represent by hook or crook.
Zimbabwe is not a Banana Republic. It is repugnant and therefore unacceptable that the enactment of any law should be hurried or done to suit the political interests of an individual or to mitigate the consequences of anybody’s ignorance of the law.
Secondly, there is another gross misrepresentation arising from Dr Gono’s unfortunate statement. Some media sources quote Dr Gono as having said that, “no amount of blackmail though can change my stance of remaining out of all factions except that of and led by the President and First Secretary of our Party, Cde R G Mugabe and all that he stands for”.
It is preposterous and objectionable in the extreme for Dr Gono to claim that he is “remaining out of all factions except that of and led by the President. President Mugabe does not have and does not lead a faction. The President leads ZANU PF, the Government and the nation of Zimbabwe. In other words President Mugabe leads not some but all of us Zimbabweans. An aspiring Senator is ordinarily expected to understand this basic fact.
The third gross misrepresentation in Dr Gono’s media statement is particularly concerning in terms of the potential damage of its untruth to the economy and national interest. According to Dr Gono, “History will condemn us badly if the current situation is allowed to persist where the private and public sectors of our economy, civil service, the media and other statutory and security bodies are now being perceived by ordinary persons as appearing to be discharging their duties along factional or ethnic lines”.
This is an outlandishly exaggerated and inflammatory statement whose inciting intent borders on subversion. It is scandalous for Dr Gono to emotively claim that all institutions and agencies of the State as well as the private sector in Zimbabwe today are discharging their duties along factional or ethnic lines. What is particularly scandalous about this statement is that it is not a product of research or any objective reflection but is Dr Gono’s personal opinion in pursuit of his personal interest to become a Senator for Manicaland, even if there is no enabling legal basis for that.
There’s no doubt that, like any other Zimbabwean, Dr Gono is entitled to seek public office. However, and again like any other Zimbabwean, Dr Gono must not expect to get away by seeking such office while operating outside the box and pretending that seeking a Senatorial seat in Manicaland is an extraordinary circumstance requiring extraordinary measures, including gross misrepresentations, outlandish and inflammatory exaggerations that are harmful to the country’s national and economic interests.
Hon. Professor Jonathan N Moyo
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES
25 September, 2014