via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Mutasa, Khaya Moyo break ranks over Zanu-PF chairmanship 04 September 2014
PERCEIVED factional allies, aspiring vice president Simon Khaya-Moyo and Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, have reportedly broken ranks over the former’s remarks that the party’s national chairmanship is a preserve for former PF ZAPU cadres.
Khaya-Moyo, the incumbent Zanu-PF national chairman, stirred the hornet’s nest last week when he said only a former ex-PF-ZAPU cadre should succeed him as has been the party custom ever since the 1987 Unity Accord was inked.
Zanu-PF sources said by so doing, Khaya-Moyo crossed Mutasa’s path as the party’s secretary for administration has set his eyes firmly on the powerful presidium post at the crunch elective congress set for December. Mutasa has no connection with ZAPU. Khaya-Moyo’s remarks could see Mutasa shifting his allegiance from the party’s national chairman, whom he was said to be backing as his ideal candidate for the second vice presidency.
The feud between Mutasa and Khaya-Moyo could be a spectacular intra-faction scuffle given that both are reportedly aligned to Vice President Joice Mujuru’s camp. The revolutionary party is torn between two major blocs purportedly fronted by Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, both of whom have repeatedly denied leading factions that are fighting to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
Khaya-Moyo himself is tipped for elevation to the post of third secretary of the party at the congress, replacing the late John Nkomo, who died in January last year. According to the Zanu-PF constitution, any party member interested in a presidium position must be able to get nomination from at least seven out of the 10 provinces in the country.
The presidium positions comprise of first secretary, second secretary, third secretary and the national chairman. What is therefore complicating matters between Khaya-Moyo and Mutasa is the fact that they need each other’s assistance to get support from the provinces under their influence.
Khaya-Moyo knows that Mutasa has tremendous influence in provinces such as Manicaland, Harare, and the Mashonaland provinces as well as Masvingo where provincial chairman Killian Gwanetsa became the first to publicly announce his support for Mutasa’s elevation. On the other hand, Khaya-Moyo has support in Matabeleland South and North and any tempering with them could have fatal consequences, politically for Mutasa.
A senior Zanu-PF member close to Mutasa said there was a high possibility that the two would find each other again. “I am aware of the developments but I am sure they will sit down and solve it because they badly need each other. They cannot afford to engage in a mud-slinging game especially during this important pre-congress time,” the official said.
Khaya-Moyo’s mobile phone was answered by his aid who said he was unable to respond as he was attending a meeting. And when contacted again, he refused to comment saying he was attending a politburo meeting. Mutasa’s phone was no reachable. Moyo’s remarks came at a time when he, along with Mutasa, have launched a national offensive to buttress their power base. Both men last week had simultaneous meetings with 10 provincial leaders directly under their portfolios in the party to scale efforts to garner crucial nominations necessary for them to land the coveted positions.
Khaya-Moyo met provincial chairpersons on Wednesday last week which coincided with Mutasa’s meeting with provincial administrators.
Sources said Khaya-Moyo is this week expected to build on that with a series of meetings with leaders in the two Matabeleland provinces and Bulawayo where his popularity has been under siege in recent weeks as bickering over the vacant Vice President position and that of the national chairman boils over.
In addition to other moves described by party members as “image neatening”, Khaya-Moyo has also launched the John Landa Nkomo Memorial Trust and the national chairman’s charity fund. The initiatives seek to champion developmental projects in Matabeleland region and assist disadvantaged people across the country.