via Zanu PF to continue with one VP November 25, 2013 NewsDay
ZANU PF now looks set to continue with one Vice-President (VP) instead of the usual two until next year’s elective congress after attempts by other top party officials to turn next month’s national people’s conference into a mini-elective congress flopped.
Some Zanu PF members had wanted the December conference agenda to include elections to replace the late Vice-President John Nkomo who died early this year.
The second VP’s post has always been traditionally reserved for national party chairpersons and former PF-Zapu cadres in line with 1987 Unity Accord which led to the amalgamation of PF Zapu and Zanu PF.
This would have made incumbent chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo, who has since been appointed Senior Minister Without Portfolio, an automatic candidate for the post.
Contacted for comment on how the VP issue was being handled, party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “What we will be having next month is an annual people’s conference. Such posts (VP) are usually filled at the national congress, but it’s the prerogative of the President. The precedent that has been set when such an incident (death of a Vice-President) is that the positions are filled at the congress, but as I said it’s the prerogative of the President. We are waiting to hear from him.”
Following the death of Vice-President Joshua Nkomo in July 1999, he was replaced by Joseph Msika — who was then Zanu PF national chairperson — at the December congress of the same year.
During the party’s congress in December 2004, incumbent Vice-President Joice Mujuru replaced the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda who had died in September 2003 .
This was after the women’s league lobbied for Muzenda’s replacement to be a woman.
When Msika died in August 2009, he was replaced by John Nkomo at the party’s congress of December of the same year.
Khaya Moyo’s recent appointment as Senior Minister Without Portfolio seems to lend credence to speculation that he may be on his way to higher office.
He is the third most senior official after Mugabe and Vice-President Mujuru and is a member of the party’s presidium.
He comes from the Matabeleland South Province and is credited with turning around Zanu PF’s fortunes in the Matabeleland region, something for which Mugabe is likely to reward him.
However, Transport minister Obert Mpofu is also touted as one of the contenders. Both Khaya Moyo and Mpofu have been fighting for control of Matabeleland North province.