Zanu PF founding member and former Defence minister Enos Nkala has described the current crop of Matabeleland politicians as “spineless”, adding it would take another 100 years for the region to produce a leader in the mould of the late veteran nationalist, Joshua Nkomo.
In an interview at his home in Bulawayo last Thursday, Nkala said: “There is lack of effective and constructive leaders in Matabeleland. That is what I can say. I do not want to discuss names. I have not seen a leader who will be in the stature of Joshua Nkomo.”
Nkala said: “Maybe we can go for 100 years with this crop that we have that gets excited to drink tea with (President Robert) Mugabe. And when he burps, they all scurry for cover — saying we will die.”
He said while party members from other regions go to central committee and politburo meetings with collective interests from their respective areas of origin, “There are certain people who are mystified by Mugabe. They go there to drink tea and listen to the President, to listen as if they are students and want to learn.
“I noticed that some leaders came into Zanu after Zapu was absorbed with cap in hand saying sizabulawa! (We will be killed). So if you elect fools to lead you, you cannot blame others for your problems. If you are going to load Zanu PF with fools from Matabeleland, then who is to blame?”
Nkala added: “When Joshua (Nkomo) was there, you did not have to ask who would receive political power if it was to be transferred to Matabeleland.”
Nkala quit government and active politics two decades ago after he was implicated in a motor vehicle scam –the Willowgate scandal.
Meanwhile, Matojeni Cultural Society chairperson Albert Nyoni has vowed to declare, without government’s consent, July 1 as a public holiday in honour of Nkomo who died on July 1 1999.
“I wrote a letter to government seeking that Main Street be named after the late national hero and I also wrote a letter to the co-Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi seeking that 1 July be declared a public holiday in the Matabeleland region but up to now, no response has been made,” Nyoni said.