ZANU PF Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Andrew Langa has heaped praise on the party’s national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo claiming that he was instrumental in the rise of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo’s popularity as he was always with him.
Moyo is heavily tipped for elevation to the second vice-presidency of the party and country that fell vacant after the death of John Nkomo in 2013.
Moyo is considered the front-runner in the race by virtue of seniority and precedence, although dissenting voices have been rising with senior party officials calling for a more democratic process that allows an open race.
Langa, the Sport, Arts and Culture minister, made the remarks while introducing Moyo on Saturday at the official launch of the African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Youth Games in Bulawayo.
“He (Moyo) is known as a man of 10. He spent 10 years in jail during the liberation struggle.
“Lots of you who know the history of this country and know umdala uJoshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo; he (Nkomo) would not be anywhere without the man who will address you now.
“He was there for 10 years with umdala Nkomo.”
Moyo was the veteran nationalist’s personal assistant during the liberation struggle and served in the post-independence era in various capacities.
Langa said Moyo – the Senior Minister – rose steadily through the ranks and did not skip any level.
“This man also spent 10 years as a senior civil servant. You do not skip posts; you go through the route.
“He came to the government as a senior official and because of his competency, his Mangwe people elected him to be their representative.
“His Excellency (President Robert Mugabe) seeing him as a genius appointed him as deputy minister and Cabinet minister and minister for 10 years.
“He was appointed as ambassador to South Africa and again he spent 10 years there, so he is a big man,” Langa added.
Matabeleland South province has already endorsed Moyo for appointment to the vacant vice-presidency post.
The position of second vice-president has traditionally been reserved for former Zapu members in accordance with the 1987 Unity Accord that the two former liberation movements PF Zapu and Zanu PF entered into.