ZANU PF politburo member and Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu has consolidated control of Zanu PF structures in Matabeleland North and Bulawayo provinces after candidates he backed won provincial chairpersons posts.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter
Last Saturday, former chairperson of the disbanded Hwange District Co-ordinating Committee Reeds Dube, who is Mpofu’s ally, was co-opted into the Matabeleland North provincial structures as vice-chairperson.
Dube deputises Richard Moyo from Mpofu’s Umguza constituency who beat Patrick Utete last month in the race for the provincial chairperson’s post.
In Bulawayo, Killian Sibanda, who is also aligned to Mpofu, won the election for substantive provincial chairperson beating five other contestants, including former provincial chairperson Isaac Dakamela.
The weekend Matabeleland North provincial meeting also saw fellow politburo member Sithembiso Nyoni almost confirming her allegiance to Mpofu, while provincial secretary for administration Clifford Sibanda heaped praises on the minister.
Speaking at a rally organised by Mpofu in the Mzola area of Lupane after the meeting, Nyoni said: “We have Vice-President John Nkomo in the presidium. He can’t be going around doing this because he has his boy (Mpofu) to do that. So let us rally behind Mpofu.”
Mpofu handed over agriculture inputs being distributed under a controversial scheme fronted by President Robert Mugabe and rice at the rally.
He also made a personal donation of 30 tonnes of maize to the villagers in the area.
Sibanda, who was initially interested in the chairperson’s post but withdrew his candidature, also heaped praises on Mpofu.
Mpofu has been holding rallies all over Matabeleland North in a bid to woo supporters to the former ruling party.
The party announced a string of rallies to be held all over the province at the beginning of January.
“Now that Mpofu has gained control, he wants the province to unite and work towards gaining lost seats,” an insider said.
Speaking at the rally, Mpofu said some people left Zanu PF because they were mistreated by leaders who after being voted into power neglected them.
He said some leaders, after being voted into power, started behaving as if they were more important than the voters.
“Zanu PF does not belong to any individual,” Mpofu said.
“We are members and should work towards building our party. That is the massage the President brought to the recently-ended conference in Gweru.”