via Give chairmanship to Zapu cadre: Msipa 20 August 2014
ZANU PF politburo member, Cephas Msipa, has added his voice to the hot and potentially divisive debate over the party’s chairmanship saying the position should, in keeping with tradition, be reserved for former PF Zapu cadres.
Following the 1987 Unity Accord between Zanu PF and PF Zapu, former cadres of the latter have occupied the second vice-presidency in the united party as well as the national chairmanship.
However, as the party heads for its elective congress in December some officials now argue for a break with that tradition.
They claim that while, according to the letter of the 1987 accord, the second vice-presidency must go to PF Zapu, the issue of the chairmanship was merely a “gentlemen’s understanding”, observed only in the spirit of the agreement.
Times have changed, they insist, and the chairmanship must now be open to all members.
However, Msipa, a former senior PF Zapu official, said for the sake of unity, it was important that tradition was followed in the event the post becomes vacant.
“I am aware that some people are pushing to have the chairman’s post open to all (and) there is a very lively debate taking place regarding the issue,” said the former Midlands governor.
“Those who want the post open argue that it was merely a gentlemen’s agreement which is not written and time has come to effect change.
“But we feel it must remain that way because it strengthens the unity between the parties.”
Incumbent national chair, Simon Khaya Moyo, is widely expected to be elevated to second vice-president, a post left vacant following the death of John Landa Nkomo in January last year.
Several former PF Zapu officials are already slugging it out for the right to replace Khaya Moyo but current administration secretary Didymus Mutasa has also entered the fray with outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri also understood to be interested.
But Msipa said the likes of Mutasa and Muchinguri should keep clear of the battle.
“The presidium has five members two reserved for former PF ZAPU members – that is the chairman and the vice-president. But if the post of the chairman is open to all it will mean that former PF ZAPU members will have one reserved seat in the presidium.”
Msipa was however confident the issue would be resolved amicably.
“I don’t know if it will be open or not but the issue will be sorted out, though, before the congress and I don’t think there will be a problem; remember we are members of one party,” he added.