Jonathan Moyo according to Wikileaks-Part One

THE embattled Jonathan Moyo has been one of the most controversial politicians in Zimbabwe. He was a strong critic of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, especially President Robert Mugabe, during his days as a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. But he became Mugabe’s hatchet man when he returned to Zimbabwe after a stint in Kenya and South Africa and joined Mugabe’s cabinet.

According to Wikileaks, soon after the 2000 elections which brought in Young Turks within ZANU-PF- some of whom like Jonathan Moyo and Nkosana Moyo were not elected but were appointed by Mugabe- there were concerted efforts for reform with some of the candidates not wanting Mugabe to contest the 2002 presidential elections.

But instead of taking calls for change on board,  Mugabe and his lieutenants redoubled efforts to clamp down on dissent. One of Mugabe’s principal instruments was Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo.

Iden Wetherell, editor of The Independent, said Moyo mirrored Mugabe’s combative style and closely represented his thinking on most issues.

Mugabe circumvented the party and government structures by having Moyo issue statements that effectively countermanded directives from cabinet officials.

Moyo became so powerful that he was informally charged with reimposing discipline on wayward party officials in the provinces and even in cabinet.

But his shining star faded in 2004 following what was dubbed the Tsholotsho declaration at which senior members challenged Mugabe’s support for Joice Mujuru as Vice-President.

Moyo was expelled from the party shortly after that when he refused to surrender the Tsholotsho seat to a woman candidate, but surprisingly won the seat as an independent candidate.

Moyo stayed in the wilderness for almost five years before being allowed to rejoin the party in 2009, something that left a lot of people wondering how he had made it because stalwarts like Edgar Tekere had faced problems when they tied to rejoin the party.

Moyo, once again, became Mugabe’s hatchet man and was largely responsible for his election campaign for 2013 with Mugabe singling him out for praise after his victory.

But Moyo is now in trouble over the abuse of funds from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. It is not yet clear how he will extricate himself from the current mess, but like his mentor, Mugabe, Moyo, has already proved that he too is a scheming survivor.

Below are the Wikileaks cables that mention Moyo’s name:

1-US was worried about Jonathan Moyo from the word go

2-Cabinet split four weeks after getting into office

3-Moyo versus Moyo

4-Confusion over farm evictions

5-Farmer attacked with machete by war veteran

6-Government shuts down private radio station

7-Capital confusion

8-Jonathan Moyo becomes Mugabe’s hatchet man

9-Delta boss planned deal to enable government to buy up 400 farms

10-Supreme Court orders government to stop land acquisitions

11-Jonathan Moyo puts pressure on chief judge to resign

12-Jonathan Moyo linked to Inyika Trust

13-Zvobgo says Mugabe is now a majority of one in ZANU-PF

14-Jonathan Moyo friends with Justice Chidyausiku

15-ZANU-PF upbeat after winning Bikita West by-election

16-MDC challenges Mugabe decree

17-Jonathan Moyo, Chinamasa pile pressure on judges

18-How Jonathan Moyo started muzzling the press

19-Mugabe so unpopular that he needs 250 000 to canvass for him

20-Zvobgo says Jonathan Moyo has struck thunder into ZANU-PF MPs

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