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Moyo’s Zapu remarks criticised

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MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has come under attack from ex-Zipra combatants for suggesting that the post of chairperson in the ruling Zanu PF is “free for all in the party”.’

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

Moyo told The Sunday Mail that the post was “open to be filled by the best candidate and not reserved for either side”.

He said the post of president and first secretary of Zanu PF was not reserved for either original Zanu PF or former Zapu members, but open to be filled by the best candidate.

Moyo said the fact that there were two vice-presidents meant that they could not both be from one side.

However, war veteran and Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial executive member Jabulani Phetshu Sibanda and war veteran Max Mnkandla said this would be against the 1987 Unity Accord that traditionally reserved the post for ex-Zapu cadrés although there was nothing written down.

Mnkandla said Moyo was not the right person to give directions on the Unity Accord.

“He is a professor of politics not a professor of Zapu structures,” he said.

“For Moyo and anybody in the country to say the position of chair is open to everyone means Paul Themba Nyathi (MDC national executive member) as an ex-senior Zapu member has a right to contest for that position,” he said.

“There is no way Moyo can be a campaigning agent for (Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus) Mutasa who has come out openly to say that he wants that position.”

Mnkandla said war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda should be seconded for the post and the only debate was supposed to be about who was approachable.

“It’s not written in the agreement that the chair should be for Zapu, but that deal is there,” he said.

“It’s just like a marriage; it’s a union of two people, but the marriage certificate does not go on to say you should have kids et cetera.

“Jabulani is not senior by birth, by forming or joining Zapu, but he is very senior by engaging people and by addressing challenges of the people. He is approachable, but others are not.”

Phetshu Sibanda said Moyo was wrongly interpreting the Unity Accord.

“People have varied agendas and it’s unfortunate that educated people like Moyo whom we look up to for clear interpretation of the Unity Accord are going astray,” he said.

“Was he part of the liberation war or was he studying somewhere? He should leave the interpretation to people who have firsthand knowledge of the crafting of the Unity Accord to comment.

“People like Moyo should know that the chair’s post is reserved for former Zapu members and suggesting that it’s open to everyone, does he mean that the gentlemen’s agreement has collapsed?

“We former Zapu members are gentlemen in Zanu PF.”

He said those advocating for an open race for the chairperson’s post were fomenting factionalism “and we know it’s coming from old Zanu PF members. We (ex-Zapu) shun factionalism”.

“No one from the former Zapu is contemplating challenging Mugabe for the presidency as they know that ours is the vice-presidency and chairmanship,” he said.

He urged several former senior Zapu members such as Angelina Masuku, Molly Mpofu, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Absolom Sikhosana to declare their availability for the chairperson’s post “so that we have a wide range of choice”.

“In politics, competition is healthy and all those senior former Zapu members should join the race to give us a wider selection,” he said.

Zanu PF would hold its congress in December.

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