The Sheraton Professor

The unpopular Jonathan Moyo is giving the Sheraton Hotel a bad name.

JONATHAN MOYO, the Zimbabwean minister of information, has recently retreated to his native Zimbabwe after Wits University demanded that he either performed his university duties for them or left his post. While in Johannesburg Professor Moyo lived in a smart Saxonwold house but he also retained a luxury suite at the Sheraton Hotel in Harare. It is from this latter base that he continues to operate now that he is - by some margin - the most prominent member of the Zimbabwean cabinet. This has led the independent press in Harare to term him "the Sheraton Professor", an appellation celebrated in many jokes and cartoons.

Moyo is not universally appreciated, so perhaps it was not surprising when a representative of the Sheraton Hotel recently rang one of the newspapers to complain of the constant jokes about the Sheraton Professor. The Sheraton was a well-respected international hotel chain, he pointed out. Why must the press constantly try to degrade their image by associating the much-despised figure of Professor Moyo with the hotel? Everyone knew he was the most unpopular man in Zimbabwe and this constant association of his name with the hotel was damaging their reputation.

Similar thoughts have occurred to other Harare businessmen with prominent government connections. The sight of street power in action in the Ivory Coast and Yugoslavia has concentrated minds. Unfor-tunately for the hotel, far more people now know of Moyo as the Sheraton Professor than were ever aware that he was supposed to have a job at Wits.