BULAWAYO – Former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda, recently re-admitted into Zanu PF following his expulsion in 2014, was barred from running for the position of Zanu PF chairman for Bulawayo province last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF says it has nullified all but three elections for provincial leaders for the province, with officials overseeing the process saying they were not happy with the calibre of people voted into certain positions.
Some of the positions set to be put to contest again include secretary for administration, secretary for finance, secretary for legal affairs and secretary for health.
Sibanda was a clear favourite to win the chairmanship, but he faced opposition from some officials in the province who said he was not in their structures.
Cephas Ncube, who chairs the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association in Bulawayo province, was declared the new provincial chairman on Sunday and his win stands, said George Nare from the party’s commissariat.
Nare maintained that Sibanda had not been disqualified but “he was persuaded by fellow war veterans not to contest and allow Ncube, who is chairman of the war veterans in Bulawayo province, to do so which he won resoundingly.”
Ncube saw off the challenge of Isaac Dakamela, Abednico Nyathi and Cornelius Nyathi to land the position, although the results were not shared with journalists.
Rejoice Ndlovu was elected as leader of the Women’s League in the province, beating Sihle Thebe, Materina Mutunha, Maidei Mpala and Margret Ndlovu-Malinga.
Garikayi Zonde will lead the Zanu PF Youth League in the province after prevailing over Mthunzi Mabhena, Honest Moyo, Nomaqhawe Makonese, Gwinyai Mucheke and Gacia Ndlovu.
All other election results were, however, set aside, Nare said because the people being elected either had criminal records, lacked qualifications to lead specialised portfolios or were considered to lack capacity to hold office.
“As the provincial executive council elections progressed, we discovered that the people who were being elected didn’t have the requisite qualifications and experience to occupy the posts. They’re not able to mobilise more people to join the party and lack the capacity to manage affairs of the province,” Nare said.
“We therefore, as the restructuring team, Central Committee members and Politburo members decided that it would be unwise to proceed with the elections with unsuitable people being elected to occupy powerful and sensitive posts at provincial level.”
Nare appeared to express disappointment with how Zanu PF supporters were voting, saying the “electorate was not measuring up to the party’s expectations.”
“We’ve given ourselves another week to put our house in order to come up with a new way to pick suitable candidates for the different posts. We had advised party members to avoid electing people with criminal records but surprisingly those people were being elected but it’s totally unacceptable. Dubious characters known for extorting money from people in the name of the party and putting it into disrepute were being nominated. It would be irresponsible of us to allow such to happen in the party.”
For the legal portfolio, the party says it will only consider nominees with law degrees; for health the party wants doctors or nurses and those running for other portfolios like administration and finance must demonstrate academic competence, Nare said.