Sayings of Chairman Moyo

In November 2000, Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's minister of information, had strong words to say about RW Johnson.

"It was scandalous for a white man from South Africa to make it his business to come and tell Zimbabweans what to think about themselves," he said. "The government would not tolerate a white South African, linked to Tony Leon of the Democratic Party, coming into the country to initiate the people." In future he would be declared "persona non grata". (Focus 20, December 2000).

Fortunately the ban did not stop Johnson reporting from Zimbabwe during the presidential election. And once again Moyo, and the state-controlled media, have had some pretty rum things to say about the Foundation and Johnson. In a long speech to Parliament in Harare on January 31, 2002, during which he berated a number of journalists. Moyo culminated with the following words:

"The British have relied on the Daily News [Harare's independent daily] to project their viewpoint and defend their interests here, whether pursued directly or indirectly through proxy politics. More significantly the paper has provided a platform for Rhodesian ideologies [sic] like John Robertson, Norman Reynolds [both prominent economists] and R.W. Johnson of the Helen Suzman Foundation who use the Daily News as a platform for reissuing colonial myths, stereotypes, slurs, bigotry and prejudices against black Zimbabweans." (Hansard, Zimbabwean Parliamentary debates. Official Report, Vol 28, No 48, Col 4409, Thursday January 31, 2002.)

Then an article in the Sunday Mail on February 24 claimed that a survey published in the Financial Gazette, an independent weekly, indicating a victory for Morgan Tsvangirai had not been undertaken by Target Research and paid for by the Gazette as claimed. It had been bankrolled, said the report, by the Helen Suzman Foundation and the British Westminster Foundation to the tune of $200,000.

"It has now emerged from the manager of the project that the survey result as finalised, and before the white sponsors doctored it, indicated that President Mugabe was leading Tsvangirai by 52 per cent. It had to be changed in favour of Mr Tsvangirai because the sponsors argued that women favoured President Mugabe."

In addition, it said, the United States government, which had not made secret its intentions and hostility towards the Mugabe government, had paid $500,000 for another survey, while Tony Leon of "the white supremacist party of South Africa" had financed yet another.

"These surveys are being quoted left, right and centre, even by some UN agencies, as being authentic and reflecting what the people of Zimbabwe are thinking. They are all part of the international conspiracy to ensure that a self-fulfilling prophecy is achieved. It is in the interest of the public to be aware of this unholy alliance," declared the report.