Mangosuthu Mbele | NPP campaigns roared into life this Sunday ahead of its congress on 25th of March with the Cuthbert Ncube, Mrs Musarurwa, Mr B Maduma, Retired Brigadier General E Kasu and Engineer Mubaiwa officially kick-starting their joint campaign for different positions at a function held at Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo.
Addressing a strong crowd of over 250 people, some of whom form the Electoral College in their respective provinces, Mr Cuthbert Ncube who is vying for the party’s Vice Presidency post relentlessly tore into Mugabe’s failed leadership.
He pointed out that had Zanu PF government not sabotaged the Ekusileni Hospital project, the president of the country wouldn’t need to waste hard currency seeking medication outside the country since the hospital had a state of the art equipment.
He reminded the crowd that Zanu PF had killed the industry thereby turning showrooms into churches. He said closure of David whitehead textile factory had resulted in traders going as far as Malawi just to buy fabrics. He put the blame squarely on the feet of the war veterans whom he accused of protecting ZanuPF and forcing people to vote for it in the past.
“Roads are now death traps. We inherited roads from smith regime, and now we have been brainwashed to think that filling potholes with sand and stones solves our problems”, charged Ncube.
In light of the ill-treatment of Zimbabweans in the diaspora, Ncube put the blame on zanupf government for failure to provide jobs and opportunities at home. He implored especially the youth, whom he said had the keys for the future, not to be used like bees “which manufacture honey only for people to come and harvest whenever they so wish”.
Turning to the internal party politics, Mr C Ncube had no kind words for what he termed “recycled leadership whose time had expired”. He emphasised the need “to buy a new trousers instead of patching an old torn trousers no longer fit to be worn”.
The no nonsense Ncube promised his campaign colleagues boardroom fireworks once they get elected into office. He said his desire to run was not born out of desperation for a salary but was driven by the need to uplift not only people of Matabeleland region but Zimbabwe at large.
He promised the gathered crowd that once elected into office of Vice President he would get to the bottom of thorny issues such as Gukurahundi and marginalisation both at party and government levels.
“We have gone out internationally but the question of Gukurahundi has been asked. I will speak much on this region. I didn’t want a position but people begged me to take it up. I promise to seal your freedom with my blood”, emotionally vowed Ncube.
His co-vice president nominee Retired General E Kasu, who currently heads the war veterans wing at national level, poured more fuel to the fire when he clearly pointed out that “the Zimbabwean problem is not the aged who run for elections. The problem is the electorate who vote them into office”
Ret. Gen E Kasu will battle it out with Ambassador John Mvundura while Mr C Ncube will go toe to toe with Dr Sipepa Nkomo and Dr Linda Dube and a little known Bongani Nyati in what promises to be a tight contest.
Other speakers as well took turns to castigate the failed zanupf government characterised by failed old crop of leaders.
Shooting from the hip, Mr Max Mkandla pointed out that “unless one is a psychiatric patient then they can’t keep on recycling old leadership. It’s as pity that we allowed issue of two VPs in our constitution because someone old just wanted employment”
He had no kind words for Dr Sipepa Nkomo whom he said was too old and a failure to hold a demanding post such as VP.
“We need Sipepa as an elder to give us advice, but not as a vice president. Sipepa failed as a minister of water when he told us (Bulawayo) to go and get our water from khami dam. We refused! He then went on to put ZINWA in Gwanda” hammered Mkandla, ”this is the same Sipepa who brought ZanuPF cancer in Matabeleland region by allowing Zanupf to come in uncontested as he left before his term expired so what guarantee do we have that he won’t leave again before the term ends? We can’t allow a grandfather to stand an election against his grandson (Ncube).”
Mrs Musarurwa also announced her desire to be voted in as the party Secretary general. The 50 year old lawyer by profession pledged Mashonaland East’s support for Ncube, Fuzwayo, Kasu and Mubaiwa if the Matabeleland region can support her bid.
Other likely contestants for the post of secretary general are builders Nelson Mashizha, Hamadziripi Dube, Nyandoro Gift, and Butau David.
Not to be outdone was the darling of the crowd Mr Bekezela Maduma who brought the house down with his trade mark song “Ayangena, ayaphuma”. He is likely to square it off with a veteran politician Mr D Mavhaire as well as Bancinyane Wilson for the challenging post of national chairperson.
In his speech, Mr Maduma pointed out that “there was time for everything, and this was time for the young new crop to take over”.
“There are people who believe there are indispensable. We can’t let Mavhaire run riot in the party misleading the president, making unilateral decisions on his own. If we managed to remove Mutasa and Gumbo, why do we still retain old Mavhaire?” inquired the 47yearold Maduma.
Maduma’s political history spans a long way since formation of MDC where he was actively involved especially in Matabeleland south region. He also chairs a vibrant residents association and is a human rights award winner for year 2017. Currently he is studying constitutional law.
Contesting the Treasurer General post is Eng. Mubaiwa from Mashonaland central who will sweat it out with a youthful business person and chartered accountant Mr Bukhosi Ntutha from Bulawayo province as well as Moffat Ndou an accountant from Matabeleland South.
Engineer Mubaiwa promised developmental work for the region starting with a school in Bulawayo East ward 4 whose construction may start anytime soon. Currently he is studying towards a PhD in BA. He holds an LLB degree, degree in economics as well as a degree in engineering. He owns several construction and finance firms in and outside the country.
The 54 year old Engineer said NPP led by Dr J Mujuru is his first ever party to join “though I have voted ZanuPF before. Just like everyone else.”
Dr J Mujuru is uncontested for the post of party president.
Present at the meeting as well was the Bulawayo leadership led by Provincial Chair Pastor E Bulayani and head mobilisation Mr N Hove. Pstr Bulayani took the opportunity to inform the crowd that any candidate who seeks Bulawayo vote was welcome to do so before the 25th of March elections.
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