HARARE – Zanu PF spokesman Christopher Mutsvangwa on Wednesday said late former president Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, and the former information minister Jonathan Moyo were “welcome back into Zanu PF”, hours after the duo penned an open letter to Zanu PF members apologising for previously calling for a change of government.
Mutsvangwa maintained that they were “not bothered about the past… but opportunities of working together.”
Moyo and Zhuwao, the former youth and empowerment minister, fled the country in 2017 after Mugabe was ousted in a military coup. Their apology, on November 15, was timed to the day of the putsch which catapulted Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency.
Mutsvangwa said Mnangagwa was aiming to build party unity, and they looked forward to other former Mugabe loyalists including Saviour Kasukuwere rejoining.
Moyo lives in exile in Kenya while Kasukuwere and Zhuwao are holed up in South Africa.
Here is Mutsvangwa’s reaction in full:
“I want to congratulate the two of them (Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao) for the courage and the action which they have just taken. We welcome them back into the fold, this is a party of the Zimbabwe revolution and everybody belongs to it.
Just recently, President Mnangagwa revisited the hero statuses of James Chikerema and Ndabaningi Sithole and declared them national heroes. It is in the same spirit that we welcome both Zhuwao and Professor Moyo to the party and we want to see how we work together to bring prosperity to the Zimbabwean people. That is the goal. We don’t look at past differences but opportunities of working together which can arise when all Zimbabwe come into the same fold.
We are not bothered with the past, we’re much more pre-occupied with the opportunities of the future. If they come back and they are genuine we want them to be part of the big party which is Zanu PF, it embraces everybody. They are as good Zimbabweans as any, regardless of where we may have fallen out in the past. It’s inevitable in politics that we will disagree, we may have bitter disputes but the most important thing is how you come back together, how you end up working together, how you end up finding each other. In this instance we are happy that both Jonathan and Patrick have come back, we have found each other again and there will be room for them in the party. We do hope that this will also be followed by others who may have a similar mind, they take the cue from the two of them so that they all come back into the fold of Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe revolution.
There was quite some euphoria leading to the Zanu PF congress in October about divisions in the party. People overlook that the cadreship of the party, particularly at the highest level, has been working together for more than four decades through thick and thin, through war and peace. For people who are upstarts and arrivists to think that there are fundamental differences in Zanu PF which can be exploited by foreigners, they overlook this long bond of cadreship and friendship especially among the leadership. It triumphed during the course of the congress that long bond and it laid the ghost of those who felt that Zanu PF can be divided and ruled, we are party cadres of long standing. We know each other and we are likely to find each other when the time is due.
We are very happy, I hope the likes of Saviour Kasukwuere can also take the cue. He used to be very close to both Jonathan and Patrick. He is still out there in the cold, I do hope that his illusions about his political stature outside of Zanu PF can be shattered by what has happened now and he genuinely comes back and becomes part of the Zimbabwe revolution. We are much more interested in how we can find a way to work together than dwelling on the reasons of past differences.
Zanu PF is at its strongest ever. President Mnangagwa has done a fantastic job uniting the cadreship in the party and the multiracial build-up of the Zimbabwe population. He has also done a great job in the ethnic domain of our national politics. He is addressing past grievances in an open and inclusive manner, you can’t doubt his sincerity. When you marry what he’s doing now in the political arena with what he is achieving in the economic field where Zimbabwe is exciting some of the largest corporate boardrooms of the world. The Zimbabwe natural resource endowment and the work ethic of its people is a wonder to the world. He’s now having a perfect mix of politics and economics to make Zimbabwe prosper. It’s a message which is coming through within the country, the diaspora and also the global stage. If the train is good, why don’t you want to be a passenger?”