Bulawayo, August 1, 2014. ZANU-PF Politburo member Obert Mpofu Thursday called for the opening up of the Vice-President’s race, saying it would be undemocratic to use precedence to fill the top post. He told Chronicle on the sidelines of Umguza Agricultural Show at Redwood Farm in Insuza that anyone who has the backing of the people should be allowed to land the post.
“We can’t use an undemocratic precedence to stifle people’s choices. A democratic process has to be followed to allow anyone to be voted into the position,” said Dr Mpofu adding his voice to the ongoing debate on who should fill the post left vacant following the death of Vice-President John Nkomo in January last year.
There is feeling among some Zanu-PF cadres that precedence has already been set which has seen the party’s national chairpersons landing the post following the death of Dr Joshua Nkomo in 1999.
The late Joseph Msika and the late Cde Landa John Nkomo were elevated from national chairman to Vice President.
Simon Khaya Moyo is the national chairman hence some have tipped him to land the post at the party’s elective congress in December.
However, Mpofu, who is also the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, said a democratic process has to be followed to allow anyone to contest the post.
He said the ongoing process where people sought to elevate themselves was divisive and undemocratic adding that it also resulted in corruption with aspirants trying to buy their way into office.
Asked if he was among those jostling for the VP position, Mpofu said: “I’m not interested in any undemocratic process as I believe all party positions should be decided by the people.”
The jostling for the Vice-President’s post has gathered momentum ahead of the congress.
Zanu-PF Politburo member and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi on Tuesday said he was ready to take up the post if nominated by the people in December.
Mohadi who is also Beitbridge East legislator said Zanu-PF was a democratic party and the people’s wishes would prevail at the party’s indaba.
Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman Cde Andrew Langa on Sunday defended Politburo member Cde Abedinico Ncube’s support for national chairman Khaya Moyo to land the Vice-Presidency in the December elective congress saying he also shared the same sentiments.
Ncube torched a storm last weekend when he said Matabeleland South was behind Cde Khaya Moyo’s candidature prompting accusations from some senior party members in the province who accused him of “jumping the gun”.
Fellow Politburo members Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu and Cde Richard Ndlovu said it was wrong to declare preferred candidates before the party had set the ball in motion.
Outgoing Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko and Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri have said they were considering whether or not to go for the post.
Several ex-Zipra cadres have expressed divergent views over the vacant VP’s post.
On Wednesday, President Mugabe said some party officials were approaching him, pleading that he influences their appointment to certain positions.