ZANU PF heavyweight Sikhanyiso Ndlovu yesterday said he decided to pull out of the party’s primary elections for the Mpopoma-Pelandaba constituency because he is now “tired”.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
Ndlovu, who has tried unsuccessfully to wrest the seat he lost to the late Milton Gwetu of the then united MDC in 2000, last week announced that he had been approached by Zanu PF structures to run in the June 10 by-elections.
He said he was confident of winning the seat after opposition parties threatened to boycott the polls.
Ndlovu told Southern Eye in an interview last week that “the constituency should return to its rightful leader and that’s me.”
But yesterday the former Education and Information minister was singing a different tune. He said he had withdrawn from primary polls because he wanted to give youths a chance.
“Please, I am now tired of contesting and also being in active politics . . . let others take part,” he said.
Ndlovu did not want to elaborate on his reasons for the sudden change of heart.
However, last year the former Mpopoma MP was one of the top officials in Bulawayo who were hounded for alleged links to ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Before his fall from grace, Ndlovu was one of Mugabe’s trusted hands in Bulawayo and was referred as the head of province in Bulawayo.
Only last week, the veteran politician and educationist was confident that it was time for him to bounce back into active politics.
He said Bulawayo residents were now ready to vote for Zanu PF candidates after the party had gone for 15 years without winning an election in the city.
“The people of Bulawayo have realised that they made a mistake by voting for MDC-T in the last elections only for their MPs to abandon them and form their own party afterwards,” he told Southern Eye last week.
“How many MDC formations are there now?
“Some of the former MPs are now coming to me saying they are eager to vote for Zanu PF in the by-elections as it is the only credible party.”
Zanu PF commissar Saviour Kasukuwere admitted recently that the party was riddled with factionalism in Bulawayo.
Five parliamentary constituencies up for grabs in Bulawayo are Lobengula, Mpopoma-Pelandaba, Pumula, Makokoba and Luveve following the recent expulsion of MDC-Renewal MPs from the National Assembly.