via VP choice: Respect ‘87 accord, Bob warned 21 July 2014
ZANU PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo will likely be challenged in his bid to become the country’s second vice president after rivals dismissed claims by surrogates that he was the inevitable nominee – the job effectively his to refuse.
National spokesperson Rugare Gumbo recently said President Robert Mugabe would have the final say on the post and urged calm among party members.
But in a sign of possible disquiet in the party over the position, former senior PF Zapu officials have issued a veiled warning to Mugabe, insisting that the terms of the 1987 unity accord must be respected when filling the post.
The position – created not necessarily for the country’s administrative convenience but to accommodate the top PF Zapu leaders when the party was swallowed by Zanu PF in the 1987 accord – has remained vacant since the death of John Landa Nkomo in January last year.
And, as if to show that the job was not critical, Mugabe has not bothered to replace Nkomo, but indications are that the vacancy will likely be filled at Zanu PF’s December congress.
Eager supporters have suggested that as the most senior official in the party after Mugabe and vice president Joice Mujuru, Khaya Moyo was a shoe-in for the job.
Under the terms of the Unity Accord, they argue, the position is reserved for and has traditionally been occupied – not by the next in line in the reconstituted Zanu PF – but by the most senior cadre from the former PF Zapu.
Explained politburo member, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu: “It is important that the issue is handled according to the procedures as laid out in the Unity Accord.
“The Unity Accord is very clear on this and states that the most senior person in former PF Zapu ascends to the position or competes for the position with other former senior members.
“If individuals make statements to the effect that there is no seniority line up in the former PF Zapu, then, clearly, they lack understanding of the Unity Accord and should therefore revisit it.”
He added: “It started off with VP Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo then VP Joseph Musika. Accordingly President Mugabe directed provinces to nominate candidates for the post.
“In the past, all those who have held the VP post were senior members of the PF Zapu as outlined by the Unity Accord.”
Top party leaders who have openly backed Khaya Moyo include Obert Mpofu, Tshinga Dube with Matabeleland South Provincial Minister of State Abedinico Ncube last Saturday claiming that his province had already decided to back the former envoy to South Africa.
“It’s not an individual decision but a collective decision by the provincial co-ordinating committees (PCCs) to make nominations at the right time,” he said.
“Therefore no one should speak on behalf of anyone unless sanctioned to do so by the PCCs. We want to avoid misleading people.
“We therefore advise that at this stage it is premature to start talking of potential candidates for the VP post.”
“… but we want to make it clear that we must take cognisance of the hierarchy and avoid making public statements, especially in the media.
Those also interested in the post and likely to challenge Khaya Moyo include former Ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko and Ex-Zipra commander Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri.
“I had put my name previously and I didn’t make it but now I am no longer interested in the post. I am more interested in seeing proper procedures being taken in selecting the country’s VP,” he said.