Former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was a spent force. It was a party of tribalists with no direction.
He told a visiting United States delegation just before the 2005 parliamentary elections that ZANU-PF was a spent force and would be surprised by the election.
Moyo had been fired as Information Minister and expelled from the party after he decided to stand as an independent candidate.
The party had decided to reserve Tsholotsho for a woman candidate to fix Moyo for his so-called role in the Tsholotsho Declaration which sought to stop Joice Mujuru from becoming ZANU-PF vice-president.
Moyo said that the lack of diversity in the ZANU-PF leadership had also hurt the party, which had become tribal, with the Zezuru clan triumphant.
He concluded that the succession process in ZANU-PF was complete and that Joice Mujuru would be the next leader. However, the real power would be with her husband, Solomon Mujuru.
Moyo said the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change was weak but he gave them credit for having the foresight to not expose their weakness by holding a party congress before the parliamentary election.
He said it would be difficult for the MDC to lead the nation because it was not perceived as “nationalist” due to its heavy reliance on outside support, including support from the US.
Viewing cable 05HARARE468, INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE MOYO ON ELECTIONS
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000468
AF/S FOR B. NEULING
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR C. COURVILLE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2010
SUBJECT: INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE MOYO ON ELECTIONS
Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d
¶1. (C) Controversial independent MP candidate Jonathan Moyo
on March 22 told a visiting U.S. Congressional staff
delegation and an Embassy election observer that ZANU-PF was
a &spent force.8 He described ZANU-PF as a party of
tribalists with no direction. Moyo also expressed little
regard for the MDC leadership but predicted the opposition
would do well in the election. Following the elections, he
foresaw the possible emergence of a third party that could
take power by uniting independents like himself with elements
from the two parties.
Moyo Predicts Electoral Surprise
¶2. (C) Independent candidate for the Tsholotsho parliamentary
seat and former Information Minister Jonathan Moyo met at his
campaign office with visiting Staffdel from the House
International Relations Committee, Pearl-Alice Marsh and
Malik Chaka, and USAID staff accredited to observe the
election. While initially pleading time constraints due to
the campaign, Moyo was clearly anxious to speak with the USG
delegation and seemed eager to engage.
¶3. (C) Moyo stated that he thought ZANU-PF was a spent force
and would be surprised by the election. He thought the MDC
would do particularly well in the provinces of Masvingo,
Mashonaland West, and Manicaland ) all rural areas and
traditional ZANU-PF strongholds. According to Moyo, the
ZANU-PF leadership might have been lulled into complacency
due to the lack of reporting of MDC activities in the press
and had mistakenly concluded that the MDC had been crushed.
He added that ZANU-PF had also badly weakened itself as a
result of the Party Congress in December 2004, which would
further contribute to an electoral surprise and he dismissed
their anti-Blair campaign (which he had helped start) as
ineffective, noting that many rural constituents had asked
him just who was this &Auntie Blair.8
Assesses the Two Parties
¶4. (C) Moyo said that the lack of diversity in the ZANU-PF
leadership had also hurt the party. Without criticizing
President Mugabe, he said the party had become &tribal,8
with the Zezuru clan triumphant. He concluded that the
succession process in ZANU-PF was complete and that Joyce
Mujuru would be the next leader. However, the real power was
with her husband, Soloman Mujuru. Moyo decried this as
&undemocratic bedroom politics8. He added that he was sure
Mugabe would not run for president in 2008 and, if he did,
that he would lose.
¶5. (C) Regarding the MDC, Moyo said the party’s leadership
was weak but he gave them credit for having the foresight to
not expose their weakness by holding a party congress before
the parliamentary election. He said it would be difficult
for the MDC to lead the nation because it was not perceived
as &nationalist8 due to its heavy reliance on outside
support, including support from the U.S. Nevertheless, the
MDC had a very good chance of winning a large number of
¶6. (C) In Tsholotsho, he cast the contest as between the MDC
candidate and himself, but predicted he would be victorious.
He said he still maintained contacts with ZANU-PF but had
also reached out to elements of the MDC. He said if the MDC
and independent candidates, including himself, won a combined
total of more than 60 seats, it could result in a
&constitutional crisis8 since ZANU-PF would have lost a
majority of the seats being contested. In that event, Moyo
foresaw the emergence of a third force drawing MPs from both
parties that could take power and unite the country.
¶7. (C) Moyo said that if he lost his election, he would
likely turn to writing and would try to remain in politics
until the presidential elections in 2008. He was coy about
whether he would run himself for president. Towards the end
of the meeting, Moyo noted that he was “proud of his American
education” and said he remained in contact with people at
Stanford University where he had studied, and where he might
like to one day teach.
¶8. (C) The ruling party has made a priority of defeating
Moyo, who was counted out by many after his fall from grace.
Nonetheless, he is now favored by most to win the Tsholotsho
seat from a weak MDC incumbent. Moyo’s “Senator Pothole”
constituent-centered campaign style, perhaps a side-effect of
his time in the U.S., has had an impact and is being emulated
by both candidates of both parties. Moyo was clearly
formerly the brains behind the ZANU-PF national campaign,
which has floundered without him. More than the other “young
Turks” recently purged from ZANU-PF, this enormously
ambitious and energetic figure may yet find a way to play an
important – if unpredictable – role in Zimbabwean politics.