Former Zapu officials in Zanu PF feel cheated by the recent appointment of Oppah Muchunguri-Kashiri as the party’s national chairperson, a former cabinet minister has suggested.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Muchinguri-Kashiri during the party’s congress held in Harare in December last year.
According to a senior former Zipra top man, Tshinga Dube, former Zapu officials in the unified Zanu PF demanded the chairmanship’s post during a recent central committee meeting but Mnangagwa ignored their demands and instead appointed Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“During our last central committee meeting we said the post of national chairperson should revert back to a former Zapu person because our understanding is that the Unity Accord says that the national chairperson and one of the vice presidents should come from Zapu so that we have an equal number in the presidium. I might be wrong, maybe things have changed,” said Dube while addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre recently.
He said the 1987 Unity Agreement between the two former liberation movements was firstly violated in 2014 when former President Robert Mugabe appointed Phelekezela Mphoko as one his vice presidents.
“When we started in 1987, the Unity Accord was taken very seriously but I think as time went, there was a laxity in its implementation. It all started with the coming in of Vice president Mpoko because at that time they abolished the post of the party’s national chairperson,” said Dube.
The former war veterans’ minister said previously they used to second their own preferred candidate after being consulted. “What used to happen is that they would approach Zapu and ask for the best VP candidate from our side. Then we call a meeting and debate over the issue and come up with a name as former Zapu and ZIPRA top hierarchy and came up with a name like what we did in 2014 when we came up with Simon khaya Moyo’s name. We thought the issue was over but to our utter surprise, we were told the VP was Mphoko,” Dube said.
Dube said Mphoko did not deserve to be a VP but used his friendship with the then first family to get the post.
“We did not know about Mphoko’s efforts to become the VP. We only heard that he was seen most of the time at the First Lady’s farms. Then, the next thing we heard he was now the VP. We had no powers to contest that appointment. So we take what they give us,” he added.
– New Zimbabwe