Vice-President John Nkomo is reportedly hunting for a parliamentary seat in Tsholotsho in elections slated for next year.
Nkomo, who has recently made numerous trips to his home area in Tsholotsho to “help the people,” holding functions, at the weekend donated 2 000 litres of diesel triggering suspicions he could be eyeing one of the two constituencies.
Zanu PF insiders told NewsDay there were orders that all senior leaders in the party should go out and wrest constituencies under the ambit of the two MDCs.
As a result, Nkomo, a former MP for Tsholotsho (1985-1990), is said to have sprung into campaign mode, drumming up support for the party in Tsholotsho.
However, he said he was in Tsholotsho just to “help the people”.
“I want to ensure that all people here have access to farming equipment,” Nkomo said.
“This diesel is for all the people who live in this area. Make sure that all people have access to it, even those who hate me. They will change their minds when they see what I would have done.”
Tsholotsho Centre, where the diesel handover ceremony took place, falls under Tsholotsho South constituency whose MP is Maxwell Dube of the MDC-M.
Zanu PF’s Jonathan Moyo is MP for Tsholotsho North constituency, which he won as an independent before he rejoined the former ruling party.
The vice-president’s move follows Zanu PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo’s declaration that he would contest for a parliamentary seat in his rural home, Mangwe, Matabeleland South.
“What we are not going to allow is for any constituency to have an imposed leader. People must choose their leaders. I will also be campaigning in Plumtree (Mangwe) and if I lose in the primaries, I will support whoever will be chosen,” said Khaya Moyo.
The Zanu PF chairman, who until recently was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, was trounced in the 2000 elections by the incumbent, MDC-M’s Edward Mkhosi.
During the handover ceremony, Nkomo launched a scathing attack on whites and Indians vowing they will never rule Zimbabwe.
Nkomo is known for his association with members of the Indian and white communities in Bulawayo and has officiated at functions hosted by companies belonging to some of these groups.
“This is our country. It will not be ruled by whites and Indians. It has to be ruled by us. The Bible says that we have to rule over everything in this world. That is why I am your leader. If you cannot rule, we will rule over you,” he said to laughter from the packed room at the business centre.
“This country will never be ruled by whites and Indians. I remember that the British used to make us sing a song glorifying the Queen. Who is the Queen? I don’t know her. What is special about whites,” he said, drawing even more laugher from the gathered Zanu PF faithfuls.
He said the British harboured a neo-colonial agenda on Zimbabwe.
“I have lived in Zimbabwe all my life, I will never live elsewhere,” he said.
The handover ceremony was attended by local chiefs and councilors.
Nkomo, the former Speaker of Parliament, first became an MP for Matabeleland North (1980-1985) before moving to Tsholotsho, and then Bulawayo North (1990-1995). He was re-elected MP for Bulawayo North in 1995-2000 before losing to the MDC.
Once a very popular politician in his home constituency, Nkomo’s political star has been on the wane since 2000 and relied heavily on President Robert Mugabe’s benevolence.