Jonathan Moyo’s 2004 Tsholotsho Declaration confession exposes his blatant dishonesty, absolves Mnangagwa

Professor Jonathan Moyo’s recent narrations of what transpired during the infamous ‘coup attempt’ which became known as Tsholotsho declaration are a sharp parallel contrast to narrations he offered in an article penned in December, 2004, which has now been unearthed.

Moyo’s recent accounts lay all the blame on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom he says inspired him to attempt to unseat President Mugabe, only to ditch him at the last moment, and condemn him to expulsion from the ruling party.

Moyo’s version has been unchallenged so far, with the general public in Zimbabwe left to believe the account offered by the brains behind the attempt to unseat Mugabe.

Mnangagwa however has always vehemently denied any kind of involvement in such an attempt, maintaining that he has always held unwavering loyalty to his principal, Mugabe.

At rally held in Bindura, Mugabe appeared to endorse Mnangagwa’s version of events, stating that the former had never attended the meetings held in the bid to unseat him, nor was there any evidence to support the accusations that Mnangagwa had been involved.

Mugabe however, fell short of declaring Mnangagwa innocent, stating that the former was a lawyer, and smart enough to know how to defend himself, especially in the face of accusations not supported by evidence.

However, the unearthing of an article published on December 17, 2004, has all but exposed Moyo of deliberately peddling a false narrative, and absolved Mnangagwa of any sort of involvement in the Tsholotsho declaration.

In the article, Moyo explains that as the man in the middle it is his duty to explain what the Tsholotsho declaration is. He also adds that given the chaos in Zanu PF (at the time) it had become of national importance to fully disclose what the declaration was.

“The Tsholotsho Declaration is made up of the following four key principles that define its political thrust: that the top four leadership positions in the ruling Zanu PF — president and first secretary, two vice-presidents and second secretaries and national chairman — which make up the party’s presidency, should reflect Zimbabwe’s regional diversity and ethnic balance between and among the country’s four major ethnic groupings, namely Karanga, Manyika, Zezuru and Ndebele in order to promote and maintain representative national cohesion, development, peace and stability while fostering a broad-based sense of national belonging and identity; that the top position of president and first secretary of the party should not be monopolised by one sub-tribe (or clan) but should reasonably rotate among the four major ethnic groupings; that the filling of these top four positions should not be by imposition by the party hierarchy but through democratic elections done by secret balloting; and, that the filling of the top four leadership positions and the democratic elections should be defined and be guided by and done in accordance with the constitution of the party to promote the rule of law within the party as a foundation for maintaining the rule of law in the country.”

In what is probably the most damning revelation, Moyo states that meetings held during the period of the declaration identified Simba Makoni as the successor to Mugabe.

In early 2004 a clandestine meeting was held in Ruwa by some key politicians linked to Mujuru’s faction to discuss Mugabe’s succession, identify his successor and design a strategy for that agenda. That meeting, aware of the growing sentiment within the party against the monopolisation of the position of president and first secretary by one ethnic grouping and the need for ethnic balancing, identified Simba Makoni as the preferred successor to Mugabe.

According to Moyo, a succession committee was even set up, which included several members of the party, some of whom are now members of the Generation 40 faction in Zanu PF. Indictingly, Mnangagwa, who Moyo now accuses of being behind the declaration was not part of either the committee nor the meetings.

“A succession committee to move things forward was proposed with two representatives from each of the party’s 10 provinces except from Mashonaland West, Midlands and Bulawayo which were excluded.

Solomon Mujuru and Sydney Sekeramayi were proposed as representatives for Mashonaland East; John Nkomo and Obert Mpofu for Matabeleland North; Didymus Mutasa and Patrick Chinamasa for Manicaland; Stan Mudenge and the late Josiah Tungamirai for Masvingo; Elliot Manyika and Nicholas Goche for Mashonaland Central while Harare was left pending.”

The unearthing of this 13 year old article certainly shows major inconsistencies in the narratives offered by Jonathan Moyo, all of which show Moyo’s dishonesty, and may indicate that his current narratives about what truly transpired in 2004, must now be discarded as false, and likely driven by an agenda.