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Former PF Zapu Members Jostle for Zimbabwe's VP Post

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe swearing in then-Vice President John Nkomo, Harare, Dec. 14, 2009. (File Photo)

The contentious issue of succeeding the late Vice President, John Landa Nkomo, is threatening to further divide Zanu PF in Matabeleland following reports that four former PF Zapu officials are now in the race.

According to an unwritten clause of the 1987 Unity Agreement between Zanu and PF Zapu, a former Zapu member is supposed to be one of the two vice presidents. But there are some in Zanu PF like Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa who say the Unity Accord is now history and the two vice presidents can come from either party.

A few weeks ago the names of those said to be vying for the position had balooned to 10 but the figure this week whittled down to four after some heavyweights from the region including Transport Minister, Obert Mpofu, and former Higher Education Minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, opted out and endorsed chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo.

The other three people, who have thrown their hats into the ring are politburo members, Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, Phekezela Mphoko and Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, who all claim to be the most senior former PF Zapu members.

The Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman, Naison Ndlovu, told The Zimbabwe Mail that the provincial coordinating committee will be meeting this weekend to come up with a single name that will be presented to the party at its congress in December.

Political commentator, Morris Ngwenya, who is also a Zanu PF member, told VOA Studio 7 the jostling for the vice president’s position does not show confusion in the party but democracy.

Brilliant Mhlanga, a political scientist and lecturer at Westminster University in England, said the jostling for the position of vice president without regard to seniority in the party shows that there is no longer any Unity Accord between Zanu and PF Zapu.