THE past elections, observers said, were likely to point to the direction Zanu PF’s succession politics would take, but with last Wednesday’s poll, it remains unclear.
One contested area of the succession politics was the vice-presidency of the party where Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo was the front runner, although before the polls Mines minister Obert Mpofu had an outside chance, as he was one of few Matabeleland politicians to deliver votes to President Robert Mugabe’s party in the 2008 poll.
Khaya Moyo now enjoys a double advantage at succeeding the late Vice-President John Nkomo following the party’s whitewash of Matabeleland South Province, where the former ambassador was spearheading campaigns.
Moyo has been reportedly involved in a fierce tussle with Mpofu for control of party structures in the Matabeleland region with a view of succeeding Nkomo.
Political analysts yesterday said while Khaya Moyo was almost a clear favourite to succeed Nkomo, Mpofu could also be rewarded for his efforts for Zanu PF to regain some lost seats in Matabeleland North.
The analysts said while Khaya Moyo got into Senate through the proportional representation format, Mpofu still boasted of having won in an open election, garnering the highest number of votes in Matabeleland region.
Political analyst, Effie Ncube said Khaya Moyo’s justification on succeeding Nkomo would lie more on his chairing of the party’s national elections directorate than the performance of Matabeleland South.
“It depends on what they put on the performance of Matabeleland South, but Mpofu could still say he won in an open election, while Khaya Moyo got into Senate through the party list,” he said.
“Khaya Moyo’s impact cannot be particularised to a single province, but on how he handled the party’s election directorate that stabilised Zanu PF. He has a huge advantage over other contenders.”
Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer Dumisani Nkomo said Khaya Moyo’s chairmanship and performance in Matabeleland South made him a front-runner in the succession politics.
“The issue succession is next on Zanu PF’s agenda given as two vice-presidents have to be appointed,” he said.
“Khaya Moyo comes as a top contender because of the performance of Matabeleland South.”
Political analyst Godwin Phiri, however, said Mugabe would follow the party’s principle of protocol by appointing Moyo as Vice-President.
“I don’t see how the performance of the province will affect the succession,” he said.
“Mugabe will respect hierarchy because if he breaches that principle, his position will also be under threat because he would have set a precedent that compromises even his presidency.”
While Zanu PF won all seats in Matabeleland South, in Matabeleland North it won seven out of 13 constituencies.
Mpofu, before the elections, embarked on a campaign trail in Matabeleland North donating maize to villagers affected by the drought that hit the southern parts of the country.