Nkosana Moyo announces his intention to run for the Zimbabwe presidency during a press briefing in the capital Harare on Thursday. PHOTO: ANA

Harare ‑ A former Zimbabwe cabinet minister has announced that he will be running for president in next year’s elections.

Nkosana Moyo, who served as industry and international trade minister at the turn of the millennium, told journalists at a press conference at a hotel in the capital Harare Thursday that he had heeded calls by Zimbabweans that he should run for the presidency.

"I must heed the call to run for President of Zimbabwe, a call from diverse Zimbabweans," said Moyo, who will be the leader of his party, the Alliance for the People's Agenda.

Moyo said President Robert Mugabe had run his leg of the relay and it was time to imagine "a different way of being for our country and set about creating it", at the same time dismissing sanctions as being the reason for having destroyed Zimbabwe's economy.

"We are what we are because of what has been done to our people by our own system," he said.

The former minister, who served the shortest stint in Zimbabwe's cabinet history after serving for 10 months only, said he hoped to capture an electorate "disillusioned with current parties" and to mobilise support from those who had given up on voting.

"When you look at the data on voter turnout, you will realise that Zimbabweans who vote are less than those who are not persuaded, that is worth their while . . . if the options remain the same, the majority of Zimbabweans who have found these options unattractive in the past will stay away as before," he said.

Moyo denied ever being a member of the ruling Zanu PF party, saying even though he had served as a cabinet minister, he had remained independent.

"I have never been a part of Zanu PF and so let it be clear, I'm not a Zanu PF project. I left government because they were doing things wrong," he said.

An economist, Moyo cast doubt on going into coalitions, saying they may not work. "If I take a litre of petrol and a litre of water, I may end up with something that is unusable."

Moyo surprised all when he deserted his post in May 2001 after serving in Mugabe’s cabinet for only 10 months, after which he resigned by fax from South Africa, where he had retreated.