A TOP Zanu PF official in Matabeleland South has hit out at former PF Zapu leaders for failing to speak out about ongoing attempts to wrest the post of chairperson in the ruling party from them.
Jabulani Phetshu Sibanda, a war veteran and member of the Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial executive said the silence of former PF Zapu members was worrying.
Sibanda was reacting to reports that Masvingo province had endorsed Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa to take over from Simon Khaya Moyo whom the province is backing for the post of vice-president.
Former PF Zapu members have been arguing the post is reserved for them in terms of the Unity Accord, although this was not in black and white.
“People have freedom of speech and they are free to nominate whoever they want for any post. I support what Masvingo province has done rallying behind Simon Khaya Moyo,” Sibanda said. “But the deafening silence by ex-PF Zapu leaders from Matabeleland whom we expect to be lining up to take the post of chairperson is worrying.
“Maybe we are talking on behalf of people who are not even keen on the post and we are just piling undue pressure on them.”
Sibanda has in the past warned that the Unity Accord was in danger if ambitious Zanu PF officials were not contained ahead of the party’s elective congress in December. Zanu PF politburo member, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who is considered the party’s political head in Bulawayo, refused to comment on Mutasa’s endorsement yesterday.
“Don’t tempt me to comment on the issue again. I wrote a strong statement expressing my feelings,” he said.
Ndlovu penned a hard-hitting opinion piece in the State media in response to claims by Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and Mutasa that the post of Zanu PF chairman is not reserved for former PF Zapu members.
He said there were attempts to turn the 1987 Unity Accord into a “nightmare”, in apparent reference to Mutasa’s campaign to be the next Zanu PF chairperson. Mutasa tried to challenge Moyo for the post of Zanu PF chairperson in previous elections, but did not get any support from party structures.
In 2008, one of the surviving former top PF Zapu officials, Dumiso Dabengwa, quit Zanu PF citing unfulfilled promises in Unity Accord.