Zanu PF politiburo member Jonathan Moyo has presented the party with a “golden opportunity” to discuss the emotive succession issue and those quoted in the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables should stick to their guns and tell President Robert Mugabe to go, analysts said yesterday.
Moyo confessed in a Sunday article he had sleepless nights over WikiLeaks, going through the cables for 10 days, spending an average of 18 hours a day.
The following day, Monday, Moyo admitted the WikiLeaks reports were true and urged his implicated colleagues to own up.
Said Moyo in his article published in The Sunday Mail: “After spending an average of 18 hours a day between August 30 and last Friday (September 9) sifting through the staggering record of the published cables on the Internet . . . period between 1966 and 1997, this writer has found that the single most dominant thread, theme and pattern emerging out of the US diplomatic cables on our country between 1998 and 2010 more than any other issue is leadership renewal, centred around a hodgepodge of familiar issues about President Mugabe’s succession.”
On Monday, Moyo said: “If people deny the obvious, they will invite suspicion that their meetings (with US diplomats) might have been motivated by sinister objectives and interests. The reported cables are just half of the story and it would be very interesting and very enriching on the part of our colleagues to do the right thing and say yes we had these discussions,” he said.
This comes ahead of today’s potentially explosive politburo meeting in Harare, where President Mugabe is expected to speak for the first time over the US cable leaks that threaten to tear his party apart. The increasingly isolated leader is also expected to either crack the whip or absolve alleged traitors whom the cables claim stabbed him in the back.
Moyo is among party heavyweights — including Vice-Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, the late party stalwart, Solomon Mujuru, Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, Ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Nicholas Goche — who reportedly told American diplomats that they wanted President Mugabe out.
Political analyst Blessing Vava said Moyo’s comments showed that it was a general feeling within the rank and file of Zanu PF that President Mugabe must go.
“It has revealed that this is the general feeling within the Zanu PF top ranks that (President) Mugabe is no longer wanted in his party and Jonathan only reaffirmed what a majority in Zanu PF think of him,” Vava said.
Another political commentator, Charles Mangongera, said President Mugabe was in a “difficult situation” where he had to make a decision that would not split the already shaky revolutionary party, riddled with factionalism.
“This puts (President) Mugabe in a difficult situation where he has to make a decision whether to punish those perceived to be supping with the devil or let them free. Both options can be untenable,” Mangongera said.
“If (President) Mugabe doesn’t take action, it sends out a message that he is a weak leader; and if he decides to take punitive action given the positions of those named, he risks splitting the party,” he said.
Moses Matenga, Staff Reporter – Sep 14 2011 08:10