BY NIZBERT MOYO
THE nomination of Sibangilizwe Nkomo, son of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo, as one of Zapu’s presidential candidates has been challenged by other party members who accused him of not being a card-carrying member.
Zapu Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Matthew Sibanda told Southern Eye yesterday that Nkomo was not a card-carrying member of the opposition party and, therefore, was ineligible to contest for the presidency.
“Nkomo is not a Zapu member, we do not have him in our list of party members. How is he going to contest?” he asked rhetorically.
“He is supposed to be a fully paid-up member of the party. He is free to contest only if he joins the party from branch level, and if his branch nominates him, then he can go ahead and contest.”
But Sibangilizwe, who was nominated by fellow villagers in his home area, Kezi, denied the allegations, challenging his detractors to prove their claims.
“Let people say what they want, I am not prepared to talk now, but will talk in mid-April. What if I had a party card long back? No one knows,” Nkomo said.
The opposition party plans to hold its elective congress on April 30, the first since the death of its leader Dumiso Dabengwa in 2019.
Other members eyeing the Zapu presidency are Matthew Bhubesi Sibanda, Strike Mkandla, Bernard Magugu and Mqondobanzi Magonya.
Isaac Mabuka, who has been holding the post in an acting capacity, has ruled himself out of the race.
The secretary-general and chairperson’s posts are also up for grabs.
The party also wants the vice-presidency to be contested, departing from its tradition whereby a president would appoint his/her deputy.