ZANU PF Bulawayo province, which has over the years been dogged by infighting and divisions, was voted the worst performing province at the party’s annual national conference that ended in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West, on Saturday.
The party’s Bulawayo province has consistently failed to win a single contested National Assembly or council seat since the MDC started contesting elections in 2000.
Zanu PF once again came out empty-handed in the July 31 general elections with the MDC-T sweeping all directly contested seats on offer in the province.
The bickering province replaced President Robert Mugabe’s home province of Mashonaland West which was voted the worst performing at last year’s conference in Gweru.
Zanu PF Matabeleland South, which won all National Assembly seats in the elections for the first time since the emergence of the MDC on the political scene, was voted the best run province and was rewarded with $15 000.
Matabeleland North was voted number nine although some officials felt that it was an unfair rating considering that it performed better than Harare.
“While Matabeleland South was given $15 000 for coming first, Bulawayo was given a party constitution worth $2,” a party official told Southern Eye.
Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Callistus Ndlovu were fruitless as his mobile phone continuously rang unanswered.
Zanu PF politburo member and party Bulawayo provincial political head Sikhanyiso Ndlovu’s phone also rang without being answered.
Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Andrew Langa said he was honoured with the faith displayed on the province by the party’s national leadership.
“We are proud and we feel great to have been awarded the prize by His Excellency and first secretary of the party (President Robert Mugabe). We have been honoured and would like to thank the leadership of the party on the confidence shown in us,” Langa said.
“Our strength lies in the unity between the party leadership and the people and war veterans. As a province, we respect and understand hierarchy. It is not a one person victory, but the whole leadership and this will be a motivating factor even as we prepare for the 2018 elections,” Langa added.
In a recent interview after his election as substantive Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Ndlovu said there were no serious divisions within party structures adding that there were some party members who needed to be assisted in understanding the Zanu PF agenda.
Ndlovu said he had eliminated corrupt practices among some party members who were demanding protection fees from white-owned companies in the city.
The awarding of provinces according to performances started at last year’s Gweru conference with party national commissar Webster Shamu saying this was meant to motivate structures and reward excellence.
Zanu PF Mashonaland Central was the inaugural winner of the best performance award in Gweru.