Simba Makoni ran as an independent in Zimbabwe's 2008 presidential election. He previously has served as minister of finance and economic development.
Simba Makoni announced on February 5, 2008 that he was challenging President Robert Mugabe in March's presidential election. Until his announcement, he was a member of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). Makoni had previously served as minister of finance and was a member of Zanu PF's politiburo.
In announcing his candidacy, Makoni said, "I share the agony and anguish of all citizens over the extreme hardships that we all have endured for nearly 10 years now... I also share the widely held view that these hardships are a result of failure of national leadership and that change at that level is a pre-requisite for change at other levels of national endeavour."
Immediately, the state apparatus lashed out at Makoni. He was expelled from the party, and the Herald newspaper accused him of being exclusively supported by the west. Mugabe described him as "absolutely disgraceful," and compared him to a prostitute.
He was also accused of being used by the ruling party to split the opposition vote.
Makoni has received the endorsement of Arthur Mutambara, who is the leader of a prominent part of Zimbabwe's opposition movement.
Makoni was born in 1950, educated as a chemist, and has served in government off and on since 1980. He served as finance minister from 2000 to 2002.
Dr. Simba Herbert Stanley Makoni was born on March 22, 1950 at Mutare Rural Hospital. He was politically concious at a very early age which lead to his expulsion from his high school.
He completed his high school education else where and went on to attended the University of Zimbabwe. He became politically active on the campus which too lead to his expulsion, which ultimately forced him to leave the country and head to England.
He studied Chemistry and Zoology at Leeds University in England and received his Doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry at Leicester Polytechnic. Whilie receiving his education he served as the ZANU PF Cheif Representative in Europe.
As Finance Minister, he was also Governor for Zimbabwe of the ADB (Africa Development Bank) and a member of the Council of Ministers of the ECA. In the latter capacity, he was chairman of the (Addis Ababa – 2000, and Algiers – 2001) sessions that formulated the New Compact with Africa, and contributed to the early ECA inputs into the formulation and adoption of New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).