ZANU PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo has suffered a major setback after the party’s Matabeleland North province distanced itself from a meeting of ex- Zapu members that endorsed him to fill the vacant vice-president post.
Politburo member and Umguza legislator Obert Mpofu said Matabeleland North did not back Moyo and instead described a meeting that endorsed his VP candidature as a “clumsy kangaroo meeting of people with notorious agendas”.
“We had nothing to do with that kangaroo meeting,” he charged.
“How can a VP be chosen in the Midlands by a group of people.
“It’s irregular and unacceptable, and as a province we are saying we cannot be part and parcel of an irregular process.”
This is the latest twist in Zanu PF’s factional wars as Vice-President Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies, Moyo being one of them, face an unprecedented purge ahead of the party’s congress in about 10 days.
Moyo, considered a shoe in for the vice-presidency for the best part of this and last year, has seemingly lost a lot of ground in the race to succeed the late John Nkomo.
Zanu PF politburo and central committee members who were in Zapu structures met in Gweru, Midlands, last year and resolved to nominate Moyo — the Senior Minister of State — to the post.
The meeting was chaired by ex-Midlands governor Cephas Msipa, who reportedly turned down suggestions that he takes over from Nkomo, resulting in Moyo being nominated for the post.
However, a weekend meeting of the Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial executive may have pegged Moyo back, as they dissociated themselves from the endorsement.
“We are not against the characters that gathered in the Midlands for that meeting,” Mpofu continued.
“We are against the process, it is illegitimate and clumsy.
“We can’t have decisions passed on the province by a kangaroo meeting of people with notorious agendas.
“That is why we were not in attendance.”
Matabeleland North provincial chairman Richard Moyo declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting, referring all questions to Mpofu.
Mpofu’s politburo colleague, Cephas Msipa, organised the meeting that endorsed Moyo’s candidature, although other vice-president aspirants — Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and former Zipra stalwart Ambrose Mutinhiri — have distanced themselves from the meeting.
Moyo suffered another setback earlier this month when the Matabeleland South provincial executive, the first to endorse him for the vice-presidency, was purged in a contentious vote of no confidence motion.
Zanu PF, at the weekend, reportedly proposed amendments to its constitution, which will see Mugabe appoint his deputies, further adding to the already dramatic events ahead of what was supposed to be an elective congress.