By Bulawayo Correspondent
SERIOUS cracks have emerged in the opposition Zapu following the nomination of the late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe to contest in Zapu’s presidential election set for next month.
Sibangilizwe’s name was reportedly forwarded by the party’s Kezi branch in Matabeleland South province where the late national hero hails from.
Zapu will be hold its elective congress next month following the death of the party’s president Dumiso Dabengwa two years ago.
According to sources in Zapu, the nomination of Sibangilizwe has divided the opposition with some questioning his membership status.
The sources said the party’s constitution gives the right to vote and be voted for only to bona-fide members who are in good standing, a qualification they insist Sibangilizwe does not meet.
Some attributed the announcement of his candidature to mischief by “elements within the enemy camp” so as to destabilise the party.
Other sources claimed Nkomo was part of a wider plan by anti-Zapu forces to plant their deployees at the impending congress.
When reached for comment, the party’s spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa confirmed to NewZimbabwe.com there were mixed reactions to the announcement of Nkomo’s candidature.
He, however, dismissed the candidature as only wishes of individuals since the announcement was done outside party protocols and procedures.
“The primary nomination of a presidential candidate comes from the province at the occasion of the provincial conference. It is said a Kezi branch nominated him but for all we know Matabeleland South, the province under which Kezi falls is yet to hold its conference,” said Maphosa.
“So there is no nomination from Matabeleland South yet until their processes fall through and a proper nomination process is carried out.”
Maphosa added it was wrong for Nkomo to attempt to ride on his father’s name without making his own politically identity.
“There are some people who are now too old to rely on their late parents’ names and exploits for relevance. A man ought to build his own name rather than turning a party that his father once led into some family fiefdom.
“This is the reason why the country is in a mess, all things in government were turned into family affairs by Zanu PF. From (the late former President Robert) Mugabe and his Zezuru relatives to (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa with his Karanga relatives. We cannot as Zapu condone such madness.
“Mr Nkomo is most welcome in the party, but he must first clear his membership issue that is being contested. If not yet a member, he should join just like any other would be member. Follow all protocols while rising through the ranks,” said Maphosa.
However, Nkomo could not be reached for comment.