Since its formation in the late 1970s, the United African National Council (UANC) led by then Zimbabwe-Rhodesia leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa disappeared, only to resurface in 2018 under the leadership of the late cleric’s younger brother, Gwinyai. The UANC’s plans to participate in the July 2018 elections faltered when its leader failed to secure a birth certificate under unclear circumstances. NewsDay (ND) reporter Jairos Saunyama spoke to Muzorewa (GM) from his base in the United States. Below are the excerpts.
ND: What is your assessment of the economic situation in the country?
GM: Zanu PF has failed to run the country. Firstly, the system is headed by a leadership that has long lost the essence of the revolution. Enough is enough; 39 years of misrule can only be replaced by new leadership.
Secondly, since sanctions are only against the Zanu PF’s corrupt fiscal mismanagement, the nation can be without sanctions almost overnight (if) the UANC assumes national leadership.
The world knows that the UANC is not corrupt, and will manage the nation’s fiscal affairs in a transparent manner. The economy will turn around when there is a party that manages the civil affairs while the military does its constitutional function of guarding the nation against foreign invasion. We believe that every Zimbabwean needs a good life for his or her family.
ND: MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa claims he has been calling in vain to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa to resolve the crisis. Are there any chances that the two leaders will meet and dialogue?
GM: Those of us who have been supporting the opposition which has proved to be used by Zanu PF when the going is tough, are advised to look elsewhere. We (UANC) will end the tug of war between Chamisa and Mnangagwa. The argument between the two is not about who has a better economic plan to redeem the nation, rather, they are arguing about who won. We will join this fight with a different perspective, that is who has a better economic system that will save the nation.
ND: Mnangagwa has called for national dialogue involving all political parties that contested in the last election, if you had contested, where you going to take part?
GM: This national dialogue is not a genuine exercise. I called this a political filibuster because it is actually consistent with Mnangagwa’s “philosophy” that says munongovukura tichingotonga (you will continue barking while we rule you). How can Zanu PF that created and continues to fuel the crisis preside over the dialogue? Zanu PF is the problem.
The system does not have the moral capacity to moderate or host the dialogue. As a party, we cannot participate in such an exercise because the government is merely using these men and women who wish they were ruling, but are not, to “pacify” the masses. This crisis had been brewing for a couple of decades until Zanu PF staged a coup in November 2017. At that time, we should have had the dialogue.
The generals would have said: “We have removed (former President Robert) Mugabe, now you the national leaders how shall we elect a good leader?” Of course, that did not happen. But it needs to be said in order to understand the true motive of the Zanu PF leadership in this so-called dialogue. Actually, this dialogue is serving to perpetuate Zanu PF rule. I will not judge those who are participating in the dialogue. They are enjoying free meals. The real solution for the country is a new, uncorrupted, uncompromised and good government elected in a free and fair atmosphere.
ND: Zanu PF has voved it will not share power until 2023, what can be done to turn the economy around, in the meantime?
GM: I did not expect Zanu PF to agree to share power with the MDC. The point of rigging the election was so they can win at any cost. ED is not concerned about the plight of the people. He would have not even contested in July 2018 elections since he belongs to a failed regime.
A failed government must not even contest for another term to fail the nation again. A good example to show Zanu PF’s uncaring philosophy is the so-called command agriculture. One year later, 5,3 million Zimbabweans will not have food, yet people harvested and the maize was taken away by “the commander”. The price hikes completely disregard the unemployment situation in the country.
ND: You failed to contest in the last election because you could not secure a birth certificate in time, do you blame yourself or the system?
GM: My birth certificate issue has been a case of corruption, even at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Any government has the Registrar’s Office, which issues and store all national records, including birth certificates. I have had all my national ID, passport, birth and so on. Trusting that our government agencies are functioning normally, I wanted to collect my birth certificate only to be told that I had never had one. I should have made noise, but I am smarter than them. No one can convince me that the whole system is not corrupt.
I find it most reasonable to replace a corrupt government with one that is not. The MDC was in Parliament, but did not make it a point to reform anomalies in the Constitution.
ND: Zimbabwe is currently in an economic crisis characterised by massive fuel shortages and increase in prices of basic commodities. If you were in power, how would you deal with these challenges?
GM: With the UANC in government, there will be no price hikes of fuel, food or cash shortage because the current cause for these crises will go with the Zanu PF system of corruption and fiscal mismanagement. In fact, there is need to create an economic atmosphere that is conducive to stability, economic growth and development. There is need to attend to civil servants salaries. There is need to appoint to high positions people with integrity.
ND: What is your message to Zimbabweans between now and the next election?
GM: Fellow Zimbabweans, in 2023 let us vote in a leadership that has the nation’s prosperity as a priority. The difference between us and Zanu PF is that the ruling party takes away from the nation, but the UANC brings to the nation prosperity through good governance and investor confidence.