Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zanu PF ‘national chair’ post open to all: Jonathan Moyo

By Mabasa Sasa

The 1987 National Unity Accord does not reserve the Zanu-PF National Chairmanship for a former Zapu member in as much as the President’s post is not solely for ex-Zanu stalwarts, a senior Government and ruling party official has said. 

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Professor Jonathan Moyo
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Professor Jonathan Moyo

Zanu-PF is scheduled to hold its elective National Congress in December, with all posts up for grabs.

This has seen party bosses jostling for positions, with some senior officials saying the Unity Accord reserved one of the two Vice-President’s posts and that of National Chair for officials who belonged to Zapu.
The Unity Accord brought together Zanu and Zapu under Zanu-PF.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Government spokesperson and Zanu-PF Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo — who is Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister — said the Unity Accord did not cater for transient personal ambitions.

He also said while the President’s post was similarly not reserved, it was “folly” to think President Mugabe would be unseated at Congress as the electorate had just given him an overwhelming mandate to lead Zimbabwe until 2018.

“Anyone who over the years has had audience with key architects of the Unity Accord, including President Mugabe, would be aware of the actual position regarding the current four top posts in the Zanu-PF Central Committee, namely those of President and First Secretary, two Vice-Presidents and Second Secretaries and National Chair.

“The actual position is that the post of President and First Secretary was and is not reserved for either former Zanu or former Zapu but is open to be filled by the best candidate from either side.

“On the two Vice-Presidents and Second Secretaries, the fact of having a provision for two VPs meant that they could not both be from one side.

“Like that of the President and First Secretary, the post of National Chair was — as it still is — open to be filled by the best candidate and not reserved for either side.”

Prof Moyo said late national heroes Joseph Msika and John Landa Nkomo rose to National Chair, and later to VP, on merit — not because they were ex-Zapu.

“The same goes for President Mugabe. He has filled the post of President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF not because the post is reserved for former Zanu but because he is the best to fill the post on the basis of his leadership in the nationalist movement, liberation struggle and Government since our independence on the basis of the electoral mandate he has received in accordance with our Constitution.

“It would be absurd to claim or believe that, as some kind of gentleman’s agreement or understanding, the Unity Accord permanently consigned the nationalist leadership who were formerly in Zapu to second fiddle roles in Zanu-PF by reserving for them only the posts of one VP and National Chair, while permanently preserving for the nationalist leadership who were formerly in Zanu the posts of President and First Secretary and of the other Vice- President.”

Moyo said it was “unfortunate” that some people were interpreting the Unity Accord “in terms of the political identity of the occupant of this or that leadership position in the party or Government in relation to their status in the former Zapu or former Zanu”.

“This is unfortunate because the Unity Accord was less about two or four positions and more about the enduring values and principles that should unite and govern our nation as a gain of the liberation struggle that was led by Zapu and Zanu which are now united as Zanu-PF.

“It must be understood that the Unity Accord was not a personal agreement to benefit individuals nor was it an inter-party deal just to benefit two political parties, nor a tribal pact to benefit this or that tribe or region . . .

“This is why the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was not Father Zapu or Father Matabeleland but Father Zimbabwe, as the founding nationalist leader of our Second Chimurenga. As such, the Unity Accord was not meant to be a temporary agreement to address issues only limited to the personal interests of some individuals or concerns of the moment without any bearing on the stability and prosperity of our republic in terms of its permanent human, security and economic interests.”

He said some people gunning for leadership at the Congress were making “outlandish” claims relating to the Unity Accord to further their campaigns.

On a possible challenge to President Mugabe’s position at the helm of the ruling party in December, Prof Moyo said:

“It would be extreme folly for anybody in Zanu-PF or anywhere else to imagine they can even contemplate using the forthcoming party’s Congress to one way or another, directly or indirectly, undo the five-year mandate that the electorate — not Zanu-PF but the electorate — gave President Mugabe on 31 July 2013 to lead and govern our country until 2018.

“Until then, President Mugabe has work to do to lead the turnaround of the economy which he pledged to do under the banner of indigenisation and economic empowerment whose implementation is now fully under way to improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.”

He said any expectation of dislodging the President outside of an election was a “pie in the sky” and those of such a perspective were better off “eating humble pie”. The Sunday Mail