THE present realignment of leadership in Zanu PF could see the historic Unity Accord, signed between PF Zapu and Zanu PF, going up in smoke.
Historically, President Robert Mugabe appointed the chairperson and vice-president from former PF Zapu members, but indications are that for the first time since the first congress, PF Zapu members are playing a second fiddle to their Zanu PF counterparts.
This has been exacerbated by the booting out of Matabeleland bigwigs — politburo member and Bulawayo political head Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, former Matabeleland South governor Angeline Masuku, youth chairperson Absolom Sikhosana and former deputy president of Senate, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu — who are senior Zapu members, but lost the Zanu PF central committee positions over the weekend.
Speculation that Mugabe intends to pick Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda as chairperson may also put paid to the façade of unity, considering that the former governor ditched Zapu before the signing of the Unity Accord.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo, whose name has been bandied as a possible candidate for the vice-presidency, also ditched Zapu before the Unity Accord.
In an interview about the goings-on in Zanu PF, especially on the implications of the sidelining of the former Zapu members, Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa said the removal of the leaders had no effect on the Unity Accord since that pact died in 2009 when he and other members pulled out of Zanu PF.
“We pulled out of the Unity Accord in 2009,” he said.
“We wrote a letter to the president of Zanu PF (Mugabe) telling him that we were pulling out.
“Anyone who remained, we told him that they were remaining as individuals and former members of PF Zapu.”
Dabengwa said they pulled out of Zanu PF because the unity pact was no longer achieving what it was purposed to achieve and as far as he was concerned, the Unity Accord was dead in the water.
“So what is happening in Zanu PF has no bearing on the Unity Accord, because it is no longer there,” he said.
However, Ndlovu, one of the top Zapu leaders to bite the dust, said the removal of Zanu PF bigwigs from Matabeleland from the central committee did not herald the death of the pact which was signed in 1987 as it was “unquestionable”.
He said the newcomers would be taught the revolutionary way and PF Zapu principles so that they do not go astray.
“There is no tree without roots,” he philosophised.
“What will we benefit by perpetually describing them as omafikozolo (newcomers)?
“We ran around during the struggle and for 60 years have been on the forefront. So we should inculcate in them the revolutionary spirit.”
Ndlovu said the re-engineering of the party’s leadership was not an end to the Unity Accord.
He said they had always impressed on Mugabe to equally include former Zapu cadrés each time he formed a government.
“We are not underdogs,” he said.
“Our people should get the fair share of the cake.
“We didn’t fight for Matabeleland only, PF Zapu was a national party and the principles of the revolution should be maintained at all costs.”