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Knives out for SK Moyo

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KNIVES are out for Zanu PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, with some members reportedly pulling all the stops to ensure he does not land the vice-presidency, a position that for long seemed all but in the bag.

BENSON DUBE
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Moyo reportedly belongs to a faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and there is a clear effort to thwart both of them from lofty positions at the party’s December congress.

The Zanu PF chairman, a senior minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government, seemed to have secured the post when his colleagues from the former Zapu endorsed his candidacy at a meeting in Gweru last year.

But in recent days, a string of events is unfolding — which could all but torpedo Moyo’s rise to the second vice-presidency post — left vacant by the death of John Nkomo in January last year.

His rivals for the post — Home Affairs minister, Kembo Mohadi, Senator Naison Kutshwekhaya Ndlovu and former senior Zapu members, Ambrose Mutinhiri and Phelekezela Mphoko — have rubbished the Gweru resolution.

Ndlovu has described Moyo as a school boy while Mutinhiri says he only attended the Gweru meeting as an observer and its resolutions were not binding.

On the other hand, First Lady Grace Mugabe warned some Bulawayo officials against travelling at a supersonic speed, largely interpreted to be a veiled attack on the Zanu PF chairman.

But Zanu PF politburo member Cephas Msipa has told his former Zapu colleagues to do the honourable thing and say they had reconsidered the position on the vice-presidency instead of making disparaging remarks about Moyo.

“People cannot say they were observers. As far as I am concerned they participated, they did not air their disapproval of the candidate,” he said.

Mutinhiri was quoted saying while he attended the Gweru meeting, he only did so as an observer rather than as a participant and did not approve of Moyo’s candidacy.

Msipa said everyone who attended the meeting was fully aware of the agenda and they should not make an about turn and profess ignorance.

“I do not have a register of former Zapu members, so I told them to invite each other to the meeting,” he explained.

“When adults meet and some remain silent, that silence to me means consent.

“I gave them a second chance so that we see if any one opposed the resolution that SK (Moyo) was the chosen horse, but no one came forward.

“I am surprised to see Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu behaving like this.”

Msipa said Ndlovu had initially consulted him as an individual before the meeting was held.

He said they discussed the party’s chairmanship — a post traditionally reserved for former Zapu members — and agreed to raise the issue with Mujuru, who would then approach Mugabe.

However, Mujuru and Moyo’s fortunes have since taken a knock after they were pictured dancing at a rally in Mount Darwin.

Their detractors claim they were celebrating striking a deal on posts ahead of the Zanu PF congress.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF Matabeleland South spokesman Jabulani Phetshu Sibanda, said if Mutinhiri had only attended as an observer, he should reveal what he had observed.

“He is trying to confuse people without revealing his findings as an observer from that meeting,” he said.

Sibanda said there was no going back on the resolution endorsing Moyo for the vice-presidency.

“Old Zanu Jongwe must accept that the Unity Accord is valid and agree that the post of second vice-president and chairperson are Zapu posts as it is now,” he declared.

“As former Zapu we accept that the president and the first vice-president is from them, we do not query.

“Former Zapu and Zipra members must not be part of factionalism, as this is a divide and rule plan by Zanu Jongwe.”

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