Zimbabwe: Simba Makoni - run again for the Zimbabwean presidency.
Simba Makoni intends to run again for the Zimbabwean presidency.
Simba Makoni is the bespectacled former Executive Secretary of SADC turned Zimbabwean Finance Minister (2000 - 2002), turned Presidential candidate in 2008 as leader of his own MKD party. It was with his MKD hat on that Makoni spoke on Tuesday night at SOAS in central London.
By all appearances, Simba is working himself up for another shot at the Presidency - informally announcing his candidacy to an audience of Zimbabwe watchers and members of the Zimbabwean diaspora - found in strength in the UK.
Given past experience, Makoni's chances of beating both Robert Mugabe (ZANU-PF) and Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) to the top job are slight. Makoni finished third in 2008 with around 8 percent of the vote. He originally wanted to stand as ZANU-PF's Presidential candidate, but was denied this by the continued supremacy of President Mugabe within the party. He remains proud of his former associated with ZANU-PF, stating that 'everyone [his] age had to join ZANU if they wanted to be involved in politics.'
He also has no regrets concerning his involvement in the 2008 election when some, as argued by RAS Director Richard Dowden, have suggested that his candidacy split the anti-Mugabe vote and allowed the veteran President to remain in power. Makoni rejects this argument, stating that he does not believe that the people who voted for him would have voted for Morgan Tsvangirai. Makoni was also able to "introduce new messages to the political campaign" and if he hadn't won the right of a seat at the table "we probably wouldn't have got the Global Political Agreement." (GPA)
The GPA saw the creation of the Government of National Unity in which Morgan Tsvangirai became Prime Minister and MDC figures took up key ministerial portfolios including the Ministry of Finance, now under Tendai Biti. Official dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy took place in 2009, which stopped the hitherto uncontrollable process of hyperinflation, and stabilised the economy.