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Mujuru suspends the NPP elected structures in Bulawayo province

30 May 2017 at 13:02hrs | Views
In a sad move that puts a dent on the prospects of Zimbabwean opposition parties ever removing ZanuPF regime from power, the Mujuru-led NPP has suspended its elected structures in Bulawayo province.

A high powered delegation from Harare led by VP elect Dr. S Nkomo, Ambassador Mvundura and retired Colonel Beta has of the 29th of May 2017 nullified the outcome of the elections of the recently held provincial Congress for National executive council( NEC) and Provincial Executive Council (PEC).  

This bizarre move comes barely a week before the much toured multiparty women's rally on the 9th of June organized by different opposition parties ahead of the 2018 elections.  

National Peoples Party(NPP) Bulawayo province held its provincial Congress on the 29th of April 2018 where the top 6 PEC and the 17 NEC representatives were elected.

Commenting on the nullification, an insider source told this paper that a 14 hour marathon meeting was held on Sunday at VP Sipepa's residency at Killarney suburb Bulawayo where Dr. Geneva Sibanda, the NEC losing candidate, read a report "on behalf of the Sipepa faction where the Current provincial chair Fidelis Gwebu was given vote of no confidence by the Sipepa faction from his executive post to an ordinary card carrying member."

Other elected officials affected by nullification include the provincial head mobilisation Mr. N. Hove who was then "given" the post of head of external affairs, Treasurer General Mr. D Moyo was "elevated" to the provincial chair. The head security Mr. B Makocho and provincial Secretary General Ms. W Moyo were also "removed" from their posts.

"Subsequent to our provincial congress, as is now a norm in African politics, the losing candidates lodged a complaint with the party leadership complaining on a number of issues bordering on why party heavyweights were defeated. Due to the complaint, the elected Bulawayo province executive was then ordered by the VP elect Nkomo not to do any party business or fill the rest of the Provincial structures until the Vice President decides to give a go ahead," an angry ex-provincial member explained.   

Part of the imposed structure of the newly handpicked Provincial and National Executives set to replace the elected members stands as follows:  

Provincial Executive:

Provincial Chair Mr. David Moyo

Vice Provincial Chair Mrs. Senzeni Ndlovu

Treasurer General Mr. B Ntutha

Secretary General Mrs. F Dube

Deputy Secretary General Mr. N Madlela

Head mobilisation Ms. Sifundo Chikerema

Deputy head Mobiliser Mr. Danger Nyoni

Head of Information Mr. Edson "Son of the Soil" Sibanda

Deputy Head of Information Ms. Blessing Chimedza

Head of transport Mr. Joseph Malaba

Head of external affairs Mr. N Hove

Head of Strategy Mr. Mike Chikomo Deputy

Head of Strategy Mr. Sokhaya Mabhena.  

National Executive:

Ms. E Bulayani, Dr. Linda Dube, Dr. Geneva Sibanda, JJ Ndebele, Ivy Mahonde, Didizela Sifelani Dube, Mr. John Mudau, Mr. Amen Mpofu, Mr. Methuseli Moyo, Mr. Albert Mhlanga and Talent Chakamanga.  

However, the imposed leadership list was met with seething anger by party members who could not hide their disappointment.

Sentiments raised were that of the 11 handpicked NEC, only 5 won the elections while the remaining 7 either lost or did not participate in the provincial congress elections while others like Dr. Linda Dube and Bancinyane Ndiweni were said to be self-confessed tribalists who founded the now defunct secessionist based party PUMA.

The ZimEye of 13 May 2017 led with a headline "Matabeleland disembarks from Mujuru trains" in which ex-PUMA executives Dr. Linda Dube and Bancinyane Ndiweni were reported to have left the Mujuru led NPP disgruntled after failing to impose themselves in the party structures by using the tribal card.

Commenting on the proposed list, party members from different provinces scoffed at the undemocratic exercise pointing out that all the imposed leaders belonged to a "Sipepa faction and the majority of the imposed are a friends clubs picked without proper balance of constituency representation."

"It's sad when failed leaders try and bull-dose their way into leadership. Bulayani (former PC Bulawayo) lost by 1 vote to 27 against ( Obert ) Manduna for NEC post, (John) Mudau (former PEC member) lost by 6 votes to 12 to little known Marufu for NEC elections, Mrs. Fikile Dube was trounced 225 votes to zilch, it's funny then how they now want to abuse Mujuru. As for (Dr.) Linda Dube he can't even win against a goat (sic). He is a failed tribalist, (who) must go back to PUMA. (Dr.) Sipepa Nkomo has been bad news for our party since the day he joined on 13 October 2016," fumed one member.

"Now that we elected Gwebu and they have decided to remove him, you wonder how different we are from ZanuPF. I wish PDP could recall Sipepa and take him back (sic)," highlighted one member.  Other members felt the damp squib meeting chaired by VP Nkomo was a dummy as he had set his agenda and preferred outcomes prior to the meeting.

To prove their suspicions, members who spoke to this paper pointed that the party national Spokesperson Mr. Methuseli Moyo "preempted" the whole meeting in his report to the Chronicle on the 29th of May.   

In the story headed "Bulawayo feud: Mujuru sends firefighting team" confirmed by Methuseli Moyo, Chronicle reported that all the Bulawayo N.P.P elected members could be replaced through congress nullification.   

"See this was a preplanned meeting. We read it in papers a day before the meeting was done. What's that? A whole spokesperson taking factionalism this far? But why is Sipepa doing this to us?" an irate former Bulawayo PEC member asked.

One member of Women Wing who commented on condition of anonymity said she believes that the Dr. S Nkomo led faction does not support the issue of democratically electing people instead it preferred "negotiating" posts for its people due to its lack of grass root support.

"Ukutshelwe mbani khonokho ongibuza khona (who told you the stuff you are asking me)?" she asked on being contacted for comment.

She however clarified, "Yes we had a very long meeting but we were told not to tell anyone about what happened. It was an instruction from the VP. It seems the VP and his faction do not want elections in Bulawayo as they are scared of being trounced again."

One member of the war veterans' wing had this to say, "Kasomkhokheli oqotho lowana. Uyalwisanisa abantu. Usexotsha abanye khathesi efaka abangane bakhe, asazi ukuth yena uMujuru uthini. (He (Sipepa) is not an exemplary leader. He is good at making people fight. He has demoted the elected people in favour of his friends, we just wonder what Mujuru says - sic).

However there were others who felt the nullification exercise was done in the best interest of Bulawayo NPP party.

"We can't work with Cuthbert faction. They are all Shonas, those who are Ndebele in that useless faction don't know our history. We were killed by Gukurahundi sent by Shona people. We only want Ndebele people to lead in this region.  We are tired of being led by Shonas from ZanuPF. We are the elders of this region.  If we leave this NPP party, no Ndebele must join her," explained a member.

Ironically Mujuru is of Shona origin. She is the former ZanuPF and National Vice president who left her ZanuPF party in 2014 after irreconcilable differences within the party. Ever since then she has been fully embraced by Matabeleland region as evidenced by the attendance at her rallies in Bulawayo and the region.

"That congress was stage managed. We cannot say an election is free and fair if the party heavy weights get defeated. We started this party.  We must be voted in for continuity purposes. Look all former Provincial Chairs from all provinces are at national yet our own Bulayani (Bulawayo Former PC) was not voted in NEC. It's not proper hence the elections were not free and fair," posted on member on social media.

On the conduct of elections, one member raised the issue of unfair use of funds to campaign.

"This Cuthbert faction won because they went around campaigning in the province. It against our constitution. Some people who won were not in the previous provincial structure. We can't accept such imposition. Elections must be nullified. They bought people beer and meat. We never campaigned. They campaigned and hence the elections were predetermined to suit them.  We can't accept that. We want people to negotiate posts so that we are not infiltrated," a visibly infuriated VP Sipepa loyalist who preferred to remain anonymous had to say.

Reached for comment, the affected executive had this to say, " since we were elected by the majority we will first meet as the top 6 and do a post mortem of the Sunday meeting. After which we shall give a statement back to the people who elected us"

It was not clear by the time of publication if N.P.P president Dr. J Mujuru had blessed the nullification move by the Dr S. Nkomo led team.

Source - Sindisiwe Mkandla
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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