Zanu PF is courting Zimbabwe soccer legend Peter Ndlovu to represent it in the Makokoba Constituency in the forthcoming harmonised elections as the party steps up its efforts to win back Matabeleland seats.
By Nduduzo Tshuma
Ndlovu was reportedly approached by Zanu PF politburo member Tshinga Dube who requested Nsukuzonke, as Ndlovu is popularly known, to represent the party in the constituency currently held by Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe.
Efforts to confirm if Ndlovu had joined Zanu PF were fruitless with his lawyer Harrison Nkomo saying the reports were not true. But Dube yesterday told NewsDay he had approached Ndlovu to convince him to stand as a Zanu PF candidate.
“I have spoken to Peter myself and he has agreed to be our candidate, but that remains with the party to decide whether or not to field him. The matter is still under discussion,” Dube said.
“It is my wish to see younger people contesting for the party.”
However, Nkomo last night maintained Dube’s claims that Zimbabwe’s most capped player would contest on a Zanu PF ticket were not true.
“There is nothing like that. It is all lies. I spoke to Peter after your inquiry earlier and he denies everything. It’s lies,” he said.
The revelations about Zanu PF’s intentions to have Ndlovu, a popular figure, in its ranks, followed reports by this paper last week that the party’s Bulawayo provincial structures had secretly agreed to identify and campaign for individuals that they felt would win votes for the party.
According to party insiders, Zanu PF had introduced a provision in its primary elections regulations to apply a waiver on prominent individuals who want to contest on behalf of the party, but were not members.
“The waiver will be used on prominent people in business and sport like Peter and senior security personnel,” the source said.
“If they show interest in contesting for the party and they have a real chance to win, then a waiver will be applied on them not to be subjected to rules that require one to be a member for more than five years.”
Dube, who lost the contest for the Makokoba seat against MDC-T deputy president Khuphe in 2008, is now reportedly eyeing the Bulawayo East constituency currently held by MDC-T’s Thabitha Khumalo. However, the retired army colonel was non committal when asked to comment on the reports.
“I do not know that, but I am ready to be deployed by the party. I am not particular,” he said.
“If the party wants to deploy me anywhere, I will respect the orders. Even if they do not want me to contest, I will support whoever they would have chosen.”
If Zanu PF agrees on Ndlovu’s candidature in Makokoba where he was born and bred, he would have to contend with the MDC-T Bulawayo chairperson Gorden Moyo, who doubles up as the States Enterprises and Parastatals minister.
Zanu PF last December supported Ndlovu after he was involved in an accident that killed his elder brother Adam in Victoria Falls.
Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu paid for Peter’s medical bills and spoke on behalf of the Ndlovu family at Adam’s funeral wake at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre.
“There is nothing like that. It is all lies. I spoke to Peter after your inquiry earlier