FIRST LADY Grace Mugabe was lost and may have been misinformed when she spoke of the divisions within the Zanu PF province, the party’s provincial chairman, Callistus Ndlovu has said.
In his first remarks following the public rebuke from Grace, Ndlovu said it was unfortunate that the First Lady’s remarks were one-sided.
“She was expressing her own opinion and it is unfortunate that her views were one-sided,” he said.
Ndlovu said the problem with Grace’s rebuke was that she failed to take into historical consideration that Zapu and Zanu were once different parties and this could explain why there seemed to be factionalism in Bulawayo.
“There is a fault line between the two parties,” he said, acknowledging the Unity Accord was being undermined by these historical divisions.
“There are two camps within Zanu PF, there are those who call themselves ‘old Zanu PF’ and there are former Zapu who are fighting for positioning.”
Ndlovu said Grace’s remarks showed that she was unaware of the history of Zanu PF and Zapu, leading to her ill-informed rant, declining to discuss the First Lady’s rebuke further.
On the issue of who was to succeed the late Vice-President John Nkomo, Ndlovu said the issue of seniority was not important, but capacity was.
He said the Unity Accord was abused as people spoke of seniority in succession, without regard as to who had the capacity to lead.
Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo leads the race for the vacant vice-presidency, but faces competition from Zipra stalwart Ambrose Mutinhiri, Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi and former ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko.
Former Midlands chairman and politburo member, Cephas Msipa has hinted that former Zapu members were itching to discuss Grace’s rants at either the politburo or the Zanu PF congress in December.
On the Unity Accord, Ndlovu said it was tragic that the document was viewed as a stagnant one, meaning former Zapu members should be content with the vice-presidency and not aim beyond that.
“The Unity Accord is not achieving what it was meant for,” he said.
“Recently the president appointed 17 ambassadors and not a single one came from this region.
“Every year in September, a delegation attends the United Nations General Assembly and no single person in the entourage is from this region.”
On why Zanu PF was performing poorly in elections in Bulawayo, a subject that raised Grace’s ire, Ndlovu said the government should do more to create employment for the people of the region.
“Ministries need to change their policies and look to employing people from this region,” he said. “As it is, you get into town and most people employed by the government are not from this region. The Unity Accord has not promoted the people in this region.”