Zimbabwe's long ruling ZANU-PF’s provincial organizations in Matebeleland North and South have thrown the party into turmoil by defying a directive from the Presidium and supreme decision making body, the Politiburo to nominate a candidate by Wednesday to fill the vice presidential post left vacant by the death of Joseph Msika.
Only Bulawayo has nominated party chairman John Nkomo to fill the post. The three provinces met in Bulawayo last week and referred the nomination back to the politburo saying that it was a national issue not a regional issue.
But on Sunday party's national secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said the deadline for a nomination remained in place. He said the politburo would select a candidate if the three provinces could not agree on one.
But Zenzo Ncube, chairman of Matebelaland province, told the herald newspaper that Mutasa cannot impose a deadline on the provinces.
Sources said Ncube has been suspended for his defiance.The party leadership is believed to want to raise Nkomo to the vice presidency, but there is said to be much lobbying by other candidates including ambassador to South Africa Simon Khaya Moyo, Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema and mines minister Obert Mpofu.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that defiance by the Matebeleland provinces exposes the party’s fundamentally undemocratic method of filling posts.