Former liberation war fighter and leader of Zapu Federal Party (ZFP), Agrippa Madlela, on Saturday branded most politicians from Matabeleland as puppets and pretenders with no national vision.
Madlela told NewsDay the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo was the only leader with substance from the region.
But he accused the late Nkomo of ill-advisedly signing the 1987 Unity Accord with Zanu PF, thereby alienating himself from his PF Zapu supporters.
During the liberation struggle, Madlela fought under the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) led by the late Vice- President.
In 1998, Madlela and others formed ZFP after their fallout with Zanu PF.
“In the person of Nkomo, Matabeleland lost a leader of substance and there is no one like him at the moment though he blundered by joining Zanu PF. Most of the leaders we have now are puppets and followers who have no policies in their minds,” said Madlela.
Madlela said because of marginalisation of the region, politicians from Matabeleland delved into politics or government for self-aggrandisement.
“Once in, they forget about the region. They succumb to orders from those at the helm. Even Nkomo, who was a good leader, due to poverty and shortage of funding in PF Zapu, gave in to Zanu PF and lost direction by abandoning his party policies,” he said.
Madlela said his party was ready for elections at any given time to correct what he called unprincipled leadership in the country.
He said ZFP advocated for a four-state nation comprising Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland and Matabeleland under a federal system.
He said this would be done following boundaries demarcated in 1923. The ZFP leader said there was no reason for national leaders to dispute internal demarcations while they recognised demarcations dividing nations.
Under the federal government system, Madlela said, nations conducted their businesses without interference and only channelled 30% of their revenue to the central government.