ZIMBABWE’S new entrant in the 2018 presidential election – Dr Nkosana Moyo says the country needs a new kind of politics to stop the ongoing economic slide that has resulted in 90 per cent unemployment.
In a wide ranging speech delivered at Chatham House in London yesterday and attended by representatives of the U.S. and Canadian embassies, Moyo said it is time for a 50-50 cabinet allocation between men and women as well as giving a chance to the youth to participate in politics.
Moyo said politicians have over the years connived to divide Zimbabweans into tribes, political parties and classes and this had paved the way for state institutions such as the army, the police, the judiciary and the CIO to be captured by a political party.
“The immediate consequence is that these institutions are no longer protecting the citizens but ZANU,” Moyo said.
Furthermore, Moyo said ZANU members are treated as first class citizens and have access to opportunities, while opposition supporters are treated like second class citizens.
On the economy, Moyo said there is a continuing lack of clarity on the role of government. He said the government should not be both a referee and a player and that this conflict of interest must be removed.
Moyo said the current government ‘has no clue” on how to grow the economy. He pledged that if he was elected, he would look at the size of the civil service wage bill and eliminate any ghost workers.
He also promised that under his leadership, Zimbabwe will reduce the size of the government and “put across policies that attract investment.”
“Zimbabwe cannot justify a government of more than thirty ministers,” he added.
Moyo envisages a government cabinet with a maximum of 20 members and no deputy ministers. However, he wants to introduce junior ministers made up of the youth ( under 35 years old.) This, he said, would be an apprenticeship for future leaders. He added that innovation and technological advancement will depend on how much space is created for the younger generation.
Sighting the dangers of political conflict in fermenting hatred Moyo said: “We want Zimbabweans to understand that competition should not be a war.” He said while he disagreed with President Robert Mugabe and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, “that doesn’t mean they are enemies.”
On the rural vote, Moyo said all citizens must be given the benefit of the doubt and be respected. He said his parents could not read but that does not mean they could not understand issues. He said there is no evidence that any section of the Zimbabwean society needs to be ‘educated’ to know solutions to their problems.
On foreign policy, Moyo said his government would be guided by the needs of Zimbabwe and those in the Diaspora will be treated as essential contributors to the economy. He said Zimbabwe does not need the number of embassies it currently maintains because it cannot afford all of them.
Moyo said since it was unlikely that ZANU will allow the diaspora vote, those living abroad should try and influence their relatives back home to bring about political change. He paid tribute to the role played by Zimbabweans abroad for keeping the country’s economy afloat through remittances.
On the subject of his business links, Moyo said he had resigned from various global corporate boards in order to avoid conflict of interest. He also said he is in the process of handing over the leadership of the Mandela Institute of Development that he founded.
On funding the election campaign, Moyo said he will only rely on resources from Zimbabweans. He said it was wrong for an election to be seen as a money making project and it is part of the culture that needs to change. He said he had demonstrated that he could live within his means by refusing to fly business class when he was a minister in Zimbabwe. He said he also refused to be treated as a VIP when travelling in Zimbabwe when he was industry and trade chief.
When he was challenged on his chances of winning the presidential election, Moyo said he has faith in Zimbabweans and believes that there is enough time for his campaign to have an impact. He gave an example of the recent election in the UK where initial opinion polls and final results had changed significantly in a short time.
He said he saw his candidacy as the beginning of a process that will be continued by other Zimbabweans who will take over from him.