By Bulawayo Correspondent
A BRUISING fight is expected at Zapu’s August presidential election after late Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s son, Sibangilizwe Nkomo was nominated by party structures in Matabeleland South province as their preferred candidate.
Zapu is set to hold its elective congress in August following the death of party president Dumiso Dabengwa in Kenya two years ago while flying home from India where he had been receiving treatment.
Nkomo was confirmed Matabeleland South’s candidate during elections held last Saturday at the party’s provincial offices in Gwanda.
He polled 68 votes, beating the party’s provincial chairperson Matthew Sibanda and current National Secretary-General, Strike Mkandla who polled 24 and 17 votes, respectively.
Outgoing deputy national organising secretary, Ndodana Moyo was also elected as new Matabeleland South chairperson.
“After our elective provincial conference, structures voted for an executive to replace the one that was led by Sibanda. The structure also voted for the provincial preferred presidential candidate – Nkomo who will then face off with other party presidential candidates come congress,” Moyo confirmed to NewZimbabwe.com.
In his acceptance speech, Nkomo pledged to unite the deeply fractured Zapu structures, and all-party members.
“Please support me with love, respect and unity. There must be no fights, as we uplift our party. We must have Ubuntu, and this is one word my late mother (Mafuyana Nkomo) fostered in me. Ubuntu must carry us as we go on because we now live in a world without it,” said Nkomo.
Sibangilizwe’s nomination has reportedly created cracks in the opposition party with some members questioning his eligibility to contest for Zapu’s presidential post.
He has, however, defended his decision to contest, insisting he wants to lead a reformed party, which is dedicated to take the country forward.
The late Joshua Nkomo is the founder of the party.