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Nkomo’s absence felt in Zanu PF

By Jeffrey Muvundusi

Nearly two decades after his death, Zanu PF says it misses Joshua Nkomo’s extraordinary skill in uniting the nation and mobilising votes for the ruling party.

The late revered Zimbabwe Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo
The late revered Zimbabwe Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo

The late revered vice president passed away on July 1, 1999. Over the weekend, Vice President Kembo Mohadi said Zanu PF has struggled to win the hearts and minds of the urban voters in the second city since the demise of Father Zimbabwe — as Nkomo was affectionately known.

“Zanu PF always won elections in Bulawayo when Nkomo was still around, but this is not the case now. What is happening? If there are problems that need to be addressed why don’t you confide in the party leadership?” he said.

“Since 2000 up to now, we have been losing both general and local authority elections to the opposition. We can’t rule the country and have opposition people in the local authorities. We therefore found it fit to dissolve and re-organise the structures as a strategy to win elections. It boggles my mind to see Zanu PF losing elections to the

He was speaking during a rally held over the weekend to drum up support for the ruling party’s aspiring candidate for the Cowdray Park Ward 28 by-election, Kidwell Mujuru.The by-election is scheduled for March 30.

Mohadi was accompanied by the Zanu PF’s secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu and the party’s deputy national commissar Omega Hungwe. Also in attendance were David Parirenyatwa; Mike Bimha; Judith Ncube (Bulawayo’s Provincial Affairs minister); politburo members Tshinga Dube, Angeline Masuku and Absolom Sikhosana, among others.

Earlier this month President Emmerson Mnangagwa dissolved the Zanu PF Harare and Bulawayo provincial structures, indicating that the reasons behind this decision would be disclosed in due course.

He put Mohadi in charge of restructuring the Bulawayo province while Vice President Constantine Chiwenga is overseeing the re-organisation of Harare province.

Mohadi said it was disheartening that the opposition party had gained full control of Harare and Bulawayo provinces where the ruling party’s leadership operates from.

“This must come to a stop. Let’s make sure that the situation changes, starting with Cowdray Park. If ever there are any problems affecting progress and development in the party, we are here as the national leadership to assist in addressing the challenges,” he said.

“Let’s continue supporting the party and trusting Zanu PF. We got back our land after 23 years.

We didn’t mislead the country. We therefore can’t mislead the country now. Young people should also know that they are not better than older people. Their time to rule will come.”

Zanu PF has one Member of Parliament in Bulawayo, Raji Modi who won the Bulawayo South seat in the July 30 harmonised election after the party capitalised on the confusion by MDC which fielded two candidates.

Meanwhile, a powerful Zanu PF delegation is campaigning for Mujuru to win the by-election after the seat fell vacant following the death of an MDC councillor Happy Ncube in December last year.

Cowdray Park has for the past two weeks been a hive of activity with campaign flyers, t shirts and posters of different parties a common sight.

Road shows and door to door campaigns have also been something that one cannot ignore. DailyNews