Jonathan Moyo, the Higher and Tertiary Education minister, recently told Botswana president, Ian Khama, to “go hang” for saying Mugabe is too old to continue ruling, yet the Zanu PF senior member has said worse than that before.
Khama recently opened up to Reuters and urged Mugabe, 92, to make way for fresh blood as they were many Zimbabweans who could take over from him.
He has said pretty the same thing before, and has not been alone, with Moyo having in the past gone further and described Mugabe’s continued stay in power as a threat to national security.
That was during the time Moyo had been removed as information minister by Mugabe after a botched palace coup that was meant to catapult the president’s current co-deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to power back in 2004.
Moyo disparagingly reacted to Khama’s remarks about Mugabe being a burden to southern Africa because of overstaying.
He described Khama as “an overgrown delinquent juvenile” in an opinion editorial in the Zimbabwe Independent.
“Let Khama mind the desert that is Botswana’s business while we mind our own challenges,” Moyo said.
However, records expose Moyo for his hypocrisy, having called on Mugabe to get off power when there was bad between the two at a time the minister admitted was “too cold” when he was readmitted into Zanu PF after the formation of the 2009-2013 coalition government.
“Perennial wisdom from divine revelation and human experience dictates that earthly things great or small beautiful or ugly, good or bad, sad or happy, foolish or wise must finally come to an end. It is from this sobering reality that the end of executive rule has finally come for Robert Mugabe who has had his better days after a quarter of a century in power,” he said at one time.
He added: “That Mugabe must now go is thus no longer a dismissible opposition slogan but a strategic necessity that desperately needs urgent legal and constitutional action by Mugabe himself well ahead of the presidential election scheduled for March 2008 in order to safeguard Zimbabwe’s national interest, security and sovereignty.
In 2005, just after leaving government, Moyo said Mugabe’s rule was “controversial” and his “continued stay in office has become such an excessive burden to the welfare of the state and such a fatal danger to the public interest of Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora”.
He added later that Mugabe had become too old and “too tired” and African leaders were becoming increasingly suspicious of him.
“President Mugabe has no reason whatsoever to continue in office as that is no longer in his personal interest and is most certainly not in the national interest.
“He just must now go and the fundamental law of the land gives him a decent constitutional exit that he must take while he is still able to do so to save the nation and preserve his legacy,” he also said.