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Moyo speaks on decision to quit MDC

26 Oct 2013 at 06:42hrs | Views
MDC director of policy and research Mr Qhubani Moyo has quit the party and has hinted at joining Zanu-PF party. Among the reasons of his decision is the dismal showing by the party in the 31 July elections which saw the party fail to get even a single seat. Our Harare Bureau Features Editor Isdore Guvamombe (IG) spoke to Qhubani Moyo (QM) on his decision and his future.

IG: You were MDC director of policy and research in MDC and highly regarded as one of the intellectuals in the party. That is a very powerful post and powerful attribute. What made you resign from the party after the July 31 elections?

QM: The leadership of the party saw it fit for me to occupy the influential and powerful post of director of policy and research because of my strong academic rooting in public policy and also as university lecturer in policy development and implementation. I also have a passion for debates on policy issues and believed in politics of promotion of policies and not personalities. I was also a keen debater on the public platforms both as a writer and speaker on how best we can improve our politics by graduating from trivial personality enclaves to entrenchment of policy positions is our political discourse. I am glad I did not disappoint in that position but regrettably in the 31 July elections people especially in our region made some political choices which were difficult to swallow and made me start thinking about the sustainability of our political trajectory. For two months I had serious self-introspection and debate on my political future and in the end had to make that painful decision that comfortable as I was and occupying the important position in the MDC I could not serve our people the way I wanted and also that I could not achieve political self-actualisation. I then left gracefully and in a dignified manner and let those who wanted to continue in that trajectory do so without thinking I was with them.

IG: Why are you then joining Zanu-PF Government as information officer when Zanu-PF's policies are at variance with those of MDC?

QM: It is not true that I am joining the Government as information officer; there is no such offer on the table. However, what I have said is that I am available and prepared to serve in the Government should an opportunity arise. I have maintained that position but so far that opportunity has not arisen but if it does I am available and willing to take it and deploy all my skills in public policy and other areas for the betterment of the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. The truth of the matter is that politics is a moving target and you can't be stagnant in the face of huge changing dynamics in the body politic of your country. The 2013 elections represented a significant change a totally different situation which makes a new era similar to that of 1980 and for those who want to move with the future it is time to make important political decisions like the one I made to work with Government and use your skills for the benefit of the country. I have refused to be a prisoner of political labels and have chosen to change my mind but knew that in the process I will suffer all sorts of abuses and I would lose friends and colleagues in process. Besides beyond the elections a Government is formed and on the basis of its manifesto constructs polices that are enforceable for all to follow and whether you want it or not you are bound by them. I have chosen to be an active participant and not passive recipient of those policies and have a desire in being part of the implementation mechanism.

IG: As MDC director of research and policy, did the MDC leadership listen to your findings?

QM: The leadership of the party was open to constructive engagement and allowed for sustained discussions on policy related issues. It was on the weight of the strength of the argument that policy position made the day not on the seniority of the persons presenting them. So it was not a matter of them listening to you because of your status but an issue of how sound and supported they were. Basically there was room and respect of the diversity of the views and a way of concluding deliberations is a manner that provided a balance and reflection of consensus. My colleagues would agree that on strength of balance even when my arguments did not win the day they were taken seriously.

IG: Is your move to join the Zanu-PF Government an admission that the MDC has no future?

QM: My thinking is that the MDCs in their current form and short of major reforms and reconfigurations to meet the changing political realities have suffered a major dent and may go down never to come up. In fact as I have said before and received enough barrage of insults they may exist in archival records as a once upon a time case like Dodos (I realise dinosaurs is taken as hate language!). But clear I think Zanu-PF has had its own share of problems including fighting huge global powers on the economic front and has survived the onslaught. What that means is that they now know what to do correct and what not to do and that you can't take for granted people's power because they might take it from you. But most importantly the changing powers in global economics and emergence of new economic power houses like China, India, Brazil, Russia among others means that the Government can grow the economy well minus the traditional economic giants like US and EU. The west will soon begin to engage because they have so much to lose by isolating themselves from the Zimbabwe's natural resources that are a pillar to the advancement of the new world

IG: You are on record as saying most of the people in Matabeleland do not take up opportunities when they are presented, yet they complain a lot. Can you elaborate?

QM: People in Matabeleland have since independence been suspicious of the Government. The situation was made worse by the human rights violations which took place in the early 1980s. As a result they decided to shun and are militant with Government institutions because of anger and emotion which are understandable given the background. This anger explains the voting patterns which have seen Bulawayo remain the symbol of hatred of the system as they define it. But going forward it does not help to surrender our destiny and pretend we are not part of Zimbabwe. There is need to work and create opportunities and where they exist utilise them. There is also a need to realise that the only way of driving development is to work with the Government of the day because it drives development. The rest can play a complementary role. So since this Government is saying come let's work together for the revival of Bulawayo and the rest of Zimbabwe, the people of the region should not shun those opportunities but must complement the Government and hold it accountable as well as maximise productivity in a manner that improves our livelihoods.

IG: MDC lost all the seats it contested, in your view what was its problem?

QM: The problem is that in the areas where we thought we had the support people had other ideas especially in Bulawayo and other parts of Matabeleland where the vote was more to do with anger and hatred against President Mugabe and Zanu-PF and a false belief that Morgan Tsvangirai was so popular all over the country that he would beat Mugabe. The voting was not on who had the best policies but more a race of vengeance. But unfortunately what the people of Bulawayo did not know is that voters don't think in a linear fashion because the election results actually reflected that it was more a "Tsvangirai must go than Mugabe must go election". Now we are stuck with Tsvangirai when the rest of the country has moved with Zanu-PF.

IG: Do you see any future in the two MDC formations?

QM: Like I indicated before I think the MDCs have a mountain to climb, the new political realities paint a bleak future for them.

IG: From MDC to Zanu-PF how are you going to manage the transition given that you were the policy guru in MDC?

QM: In reading Zanu-PF policy document and I don't feel very much lost because they speak to the importance of empowerment of local communities a key tenet of devolution which was the cornerstone of the MDC. In Zanu-PF community share schemes I see a policy that connects with my beliefs and in the their redistributive policies in particular  the means of production and natural resources I see a fulfilment of the dictates of the Pan African agenda as was espoused by the founding fathers like Nkrumah, Nyerere and Kenyatta among others. So I see no difficulties in identifying with the Zanu-PF policies. I am continuing with my interaction and engagement with a number of its ordinary members as well as senior leadership with a view of even understanding it better. I am making lots of interesting discoveries that make me think Zimbabwe is safer in Zanu-PF hands than any other party.

IG: Can you do a brief comparative analysis of the leaders of the three main political formations, Welshman Ncube, Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai?

QM: President Mugabe is an embodiment of the liberation struggle and Pan African as well as nationalism ideas. He is also an experienced astute politician who has seen it all and ranks highly among many Africans because of his economic redistributive policies. He has had his own share of problems but has been correcting them and when he leaves his office his legacy will remain inscribed in permanent ink. Morgan Tsvangirai presented short term solutions to the problems affecting the country and failed to translate protest to real support and his support was equally short term and with the new political dynamics his time seems gone with the short political sprint. Professor Ncube is shrewd political tactician who is still growing in the processes of national entrenchment  and needs to be more embracing to other players and should not be flexible otherwise he will continue being a victim of being too principled in an environment that requires some high levels of flexibility.

IG: You are leaving an MDC house that is on fire over the Sec Gen Priscillah Misihairabwi Mushonga. What really is the problem with the SG's issue?

QM: I have always maintained that the way I know the party leadership they are capable of finding common ground with all the dissenting parties. But an important point is that if they are to survive they should not point their guns inwards, this is what killed most opposition parties in Zimbabwe. Whatever procedural irregularities that could have characterised her election I think the party should also celebrate that it has someone so senior and influential in Parliament. She is the best person to keep the little flame burning because of her national appeal, political experience and international connections. The party is better off with her in that post but the leadership should also not pretend the problem will just disappear without decisions. What I know is that most of the disgruntled people are crying for an audience and attention. But if they are persecutions of party cadres dissenting then it will make the recovery processes very difficult for the party.

IG: How do you see Zimbabwe's future under Zanu-PF, given their elaborate people centred manifesto?

QM: My conclusion about Zanu-PF and the way it started its new mandate is that its business unusual as there is s strong appetite for reconfiguration of national institutions to drive the country into new heights. There seems to be a desire to transform the civil service into a fully fledged efficient machinery which will be results oriented with tangible and measurable outcomes. There is also willingness to embrace deliberative and inclusive governance where views on governance include the ordinary voter. Most importantly there seems to be a desire to respect the new Constitution and grow the economy so that the country becomes an economic giant that it used to be and the new policy proposals seem well designed to achieve that.

IG: Do you see MDC formations coming back to defeat Zanu-PF?

QM: In their current configuration and institutional status the MDCs have a Herculean task in future against Zanu-PF. But what should be done is for all to contribute one way or the other to the national development. The MDC can only maintain their relevance if they are seen to be willing to collaborate with Government and not as attempting to sabotage the attempts for reconstruction of the country otherwise the people will view them as very selfish and power hungry organisations bent on inflicting human suffering to meet their own political ends.

Source - chronicle
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