via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Former PF-Zapu cadres warn of dire consequences over Unity Accord 25 June 2014 by Staff reporter
With jockeying for positions intensifying less than six months to the former liberation movement’s crucial elective congress slotted for December, ex-cabinet minister and politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu on Monday let rip at Mutasa and warned of dire consequences if the accord was not respected.
“What has changed since 1987? (Joseph) Msika was the national chairperson then. John Nkomo took over from him and now we have SK (Simon Khaya-Moyo),” Ndlovu told The Zimbabwe Mail.
“When uniting the two parties, it was like adding two plus two to give us four, not two plus one. It would be like a three legged pot; a four-legged pot will obviously stand stronger.”
Mutasa at the weekend told The Zimbabwe Mail on the side-lines of a youth conference in Bulawayo that the “position of national chairperson is free and is not tied to any group,-PF Zapu or Zanu-PF. It is free now in terms of the unity agreement”.
Liberation movements-PF Zapu and Zanu-PF after almost a decade of civil strife in the early years of independence inked a Unity Accord in 1987 that resulted in the formation of a united Zanu-PF under President Robert Mugabe, with then Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo deputising him along with Simon Muzenda. Both the vice presidents are now deceased.
Ndlovu argued that not every part of the agreement is on paper.
“They might say it is not written anywhere, but is everything supposed to be written down? Some have tried to go out of tune, but have failed. A united Zanu-PF will stand, but if divided it will fall,” Ndlovu warned.
The former Education and Information minister said statements such as those attributed to Mutasa threatened Zanu-PF’s unity.
“It is all about balancing the unity. If someone doesn’t want this unity then they have to come out in the open. We have been through a lot during the struggle and after independence, and we have said we want the fighting to end, we are a united front,” he said, with specific reference to the disturbances that rocked the country’s south-western regions prior to the agreement.
Top leaders in Zanu-PF are locked in a war of attrition to succeed Mugabe who turned 90 this year, with indications that vice president Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are leading figures to take over the reins.
The two have denied harbouring presidential ambitions, but Mugabe two months ago confirmed there was serious jockeying for his crown and “in fact they (Mujuru and Mnangagwa) are not the only ones”.
Ndlovu warned that Zanu-PF risked falling into the same succession dilemma currently bedevilling the opposition MDC-T since elections last year.
There have been growing calls for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to step-down, a scenario which led to an acrimonious split by a group agitating for leadership change fronted by secretary-general Tendai Biti.
“We don’t want the fighting in Tsvangirai’s MDC to encroach into Zanu-PF, particularly when we, the revolutionaries, are still alive,” Ndlovu said.
Mutasa has denied reports that he is eyeing the position of national chairperson currently held by Khaya-Moyo who is tipped to be elevated to fill the vice president’s position left vacant following the death of another former national chairperson John Nkomo.
“I have never said at any moment that I want to be Zanu-PF national chairperson,” Mutasa retorted during the weekend interview with The Zimbabwe Mail.
In a transition of the unwritten rule, Nkomo (John) took over from the first post-unity accord national chairperson Msika, who became vice president following the death of struggle luminary Joshua Nkomo, in 1999.
It is this logic that Ndlovu and those of like minds are using to argue the case for the Matabeleland region that the presidium be balanced with the region represented by a vice president and a national chairperson at any given time.