Unity Accord deal under threat

Former PF-Zapu members face a threat of losing the chairmanship post that has been reserved for the Matebeleland region since the unity accord in 1987.

Didymus Mutasa (right): I would have been given a post way back, on account of my integrity.
Didymus Mutasa (right): I would have been given a post way back, on account of my integrity.

ZAPU members have occupied the positions of chairman and second Vice President of the Zanu (PF) that was born out of the Unity Accord that merged Zanu and PF-Zapu. This arrangement has been criticised by Members of the old ZANU from other provinces which have never occupied the presidium.

Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has confirmed that all officials have an equal opportunity to bid for the top posts. “The chairmanship post can be occupied by any member from any region provided they win the popular vote at congress,” he said last week, in a move likely to end the “gentlemen’s agreement” and cause further in-fighting.

The secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, is said to be the top contender for the chairmanship post. But Mutasa is playing his cards close to his chest, saying “I have heard of such speculations before. It’s difficult for me to talk about myself. It’s not me who intends to do that, it’s those who are saying it who harbour such ambitions. I’m very uncomfortable talking about the matter.”

Insiders describe Mutasa as a broken man, bitter at having been overtaken by his juniors who now occupy strategic positions in the party. Mutasa was the third most senior party member after President Robert Mugabe and the late VP Simon Muzenda when Zanu (PF) signed the Unity Accord in 1987 with PF-Zapu, led by the late Joshua Nkomo.

He was at the same level with the late former VP, Joseph Msika who died in August 2009 and was replaced by John Nkomo, who was junior to Mutasa.

It should be noted that following the death of Msika, Mutasa’s confidant and former Manicaland provincial chair Basil Nyabadza resigned from his post in protest when Khaya-Moyo was appointed party national chairman while Nkomo was elevated to VP ahead of the Zanu (PF) secretary for administration.

Mutasa rubbished the assertions arguing that he was guaranteed to occupy the top post if he was interested. He said his integrity and history with the party would have landed him a position in the presidium but he had no intention of occupying the position. “If I had asked for a position (VP), I would have been given way back, on account of my integrity,” he boasted.

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