RECENTLY-EXPELLED Zanu-PF Mashonaland Central official Goodman Tamuona Musariri says he is going to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy in the courts of law. He allegedly denounced Mnangagwa and called upon Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to take over from his boss and is now considering forming his own party.
NewsDay (ND) reporter Garikai Mafirakureva caught up with the ambitious Musariri (GTM) to talk about his experiences and also his political ambitions.
ND: Who is Goodman Tamuona Musariri and what makes you think that you can dictate the power matrix in Zanu-PF?
GTM: I love to be identified as a statesman more than a politician. I was born in Kadoma. I turned 40 on October 19. I am a former head of treasury operations at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe where I also worked as a money market dealer, settlements manager, sinking funds and donor funds administrator and manager ledgers to mention a few assignments.
I also worked for CBZ, Royal Bank and Legend Asset Management before I joined RBZ, which forms my 12-year banking experience. I joined Zanu-PF at the age of 15 in Kadoma in 1995.
ND: What made you want to join Zanu-PF at such a tender age given that most young men were joining the opposition as they felt that the ruling party was responsible for running down the economy?
GTM: I joined Zanu-PF in line with the party constitution that says one can join the youth league from as early as 15 years. In 1995, Zanu-PF was still a formidable party leading a robust economy probably up to the Black Friday of 1997 when the balance of payment support was taken away after the compensation of war veterans.
ND: I understand you recently had a brush with the law and you were hauled before the courts facing charges of undermining the authority of the President. What pushed you to make such utterances?
GTM: Yes, I was arrested on April 3, 2020 and am currently on remand against an anonymous complainant for undermining the authority of the President. I believe my arrest was politically-driven following my intention to challenge Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to power. I have since denied the charges to allow the State to investigate as I was informed in one of my remand hearings that no investigations had taken place which prompted the State to apply for the authority to prosecute and which authority has not been granted as yet. The State will give the verdict on my application on December 16, 2020.
ND: It is on record that you said VP Chiwenga should take over from Mnangagwa. What has changed now that makes you want to go for the presidential seat yourself?
GTM: I became a fan of the Operation Restore Legacy of November 2017 which was led by General Chiwenga and the army which I believed was going to end up with the formation of much-awaited transitional authority led by Chiwenga himself. I find Mnangagwa’s ascendancy through the unsanctioned Zanu-PF central committee caucus of November 19 2017 unlawful, null and void.
Chiwenga like any VP in Zanu-PF is not an elected member of congress, but an appointee of the President to serve at Mnangagwas pleasure and mercy. Both the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and Mnangagwa were illegitimate presidential candidates for 2018. Thus the whole ‘new dispensation’ is voidable with Chiwenga’s position being held in abeyance or in suspense mode unless he claims the revision of Operation Restore Legacy after acknowledging the illegitimacy of the ascendancy of Mnangagwa. I, however, would love to see Zimbabwe changing from liberation war movement politics and administration to the modern constitutional participatory multi-party electoral democracy.
ND: From your explanation it seems you are saying the current administration has failed dismally. What do you have to offer which is different from the current crop of leaders if people vote for you?
GTM: From the economic front, I would love to replace the “short termism” in policies and replace them with turnaround strategies that are guided by longterm visions that are not mathematical, but linked to real thematic indicators to thrust the economy to heights never attained before. I intend to make every single term of office able to seriously arrest and reverse the current economic decline in order to attain a stable, prosperous and healthy economy. I will also eradicate all capture of the polity and Judiciary which is currently characterised by a patronagedriven system in which a small ruling elite, political associates, legislators and public servants are provided with jobs in return for loyalty, regardless of their performance.
ND: Was contesting for presidency always your dream, is it just sour grapes after you were kicked out of the party and then you decided to throw the hat in the ring?
GTM: Yes, I have always wanted to lead Zimbabwe at least for a term or two since I was elected the group leader at school when I was in Grade 1 in 1987. God had told me that I would be President after attaining 40 years together with Zimbabwe and I am going to become the first born-free President of Zimbabwe.
ND: In your view, what went wrong with the current Zanu-PF leadership?
GTM: I strongly think that Zimbabwe is going through two major crises namely: constitutional which houses permanent illegitimacy, negative contra-indications around the President after the November 2017 coup. It appears the whole world has turned its back against Zimbabwe as attested by both the United States and Britain promising fresh and or intensified sanctions. The army took over Zanu-PF on November 15, 2017 which makes the army the biggest stakeholder in the polity of Zimbabwe.
I also strongly feel that the so-called new dispensation is only giving out theoretical standpoints like the failed austerity measures. Also Mnangagwa’s Borrowdale Racecourse meeting with whites shows great puppetry to the white former colonisers at the expense of the black native Zimbabweans who owned the same land before 1890.
ND: So you are saying Mnangagwa is an illegitimate leader and the 2018 election are null and void?
GTM: The late Robert Mugabe only resigned from his position as Head of State and government not as president and first secretary of Zanu-PF. This means that Mugabe died still the president and first secretary of Zanu-PF. After all, if a vacancy had arisen in the office of president and first secretary of Zanu-PF, an extraordinary congress had to be convoked by either the secretary for administration or any other right organ as clearly spelt out by section 26 of the Zanu-PF constitution.
The worst fatal error made by Zanu-PF was the said illegal central committee caucus of November 19, 2017 which was orchestrated and spearheaded by non-central committee members like Christopher Mutsvangwa.
ND: What do you think about the ever-rising number of parties and presidential candidates? Do these people have people at heart or they are just doing it for personal enrichment?
GTM: I envisage many politically-exposed persons vying for presidency, MP and councillor at primary elections as an essential element to augment intraparty participatory democracy in Zimbabwe.
If Parliament could resemble many political party representatives having a few seats each, it would bring perfect parliamentary oversight in Zimbabwe. However, the Monthlante Commission recommended that there should be a Political Parties Act to guide the registration of political parties and their affairs.