Ahead of Zapu congress, Mat South elects Sibangilizwe Nkomo

ZAPU’s Matabeleland South Province has elected Sibangilizwe Nkomo, son of the late former vice president of Zimbabwe and founding party president, Joshua Nkomo, as its preferred presidential candidate ahead of the party’s elective congress slated for August this year.

Nkomo was elected at the party’s provincial elections on Saturday beating long-time Matabeleland South Provincial Chairman Matthew Sibanda, current Secretary-General, Dr Strike Mkandla and Sithembiso Mpofu (party member based in the United Kingdom).

He received a total of 68 votes, while Sibanda came second with 24 votes, Dr Mkandla received 17 votes and Mpofu managed to rake in 12 votes.

The elective provincial conference that was held at ZAPU regional offices is meant to elect provincial executives, discuss policy proposals for submissions at the incoming elective congress and nomination of national executive council members.

“I want to thank all of you who placed your trust in me. I will not disappoint you. You have given me the confidence to strengthen ZAPU politically so that it wins the national vote in 2023,” he said.

“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) fostered in me. Ubuntu must carry us as we go on because we now live in a world without it.”

Sources said Nkomo has emerged as a “dark horse in the presidency race” with his nomination setting tongues wagging within the party structures with some members accusing him of not being a card-carrying member and ineligible to contest for the presidency.

Nkomo recently resigned from his post as Chair of the Joshua Nkomo Legacy Restoration Project Trust and the Joshua Nkomo Cultural Movement to venture full time into politics.

The provincial elective congress also saw Ndodana Moyo, outgoing deputy national organising secretary, elected as the new Matabeleland South Chairman.

“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,” he said.

Moyo noted that he would now focus on channelling energies towards advancing the cause of his “home province.”

“I will be concentrating on one province full-time unlike when I was in the NEC. I want to push for Matabeleland South issues and start actively advocating for locals to register to be voters. I will preach unity in the party and externally continue preaching the Devolution of Power agenda, in all fraternities that are Education, employment opportunities, the land so that locals benefit first as the land issue was the reason why ZPRA, our armed wing went to war,” he told CITE.

“I will also continue pushing the Zanu-PF government to respect us as a people.”

Moyo said Matabeleland South was affected by “the government-sponsored Gukurahundi genocide” citing that locals were still struggling to access documentation.

“People don’t have birth certificates, making life difficult for the victims and that must be corrected. This is one of the issues I will be championing because you find that some of our locals cross the border illegally without documentation then struggle again when seeking employment in South Africa or Botswana,” said the new provincial chairperson.

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