ZANU PF insiders yesterday said it was faiti accompli that Nkomo would become the vice president ahead of Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema, while Moyo would takeover the chairmanship.
The insiders said Nkomo and Moyo belong to a faction in ZANU PF led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and were guaranteed to be elected at the congress.
The Mnangagwa camp is fighting to succeed President Robert Mugabe and take charge of ZANU PF with another faction headed by retired army commander Solomon Mujuru.
Mnangagwa wants to be president, while Mujuru is pushing for his wife Joice – already a Vice President of ZANU PF and Zimbabwe – to takeover from the 85-year-old Mugabe when and if the veteran leader leaves office.
“The Mnangagwa faction has the support of seven provinces, which are more than enough to decide the party’s presidium,” a senior politburo member said. “It is on this strength that Nkomo and Moyo will be elected vice president and chairperson respectively.”
Nkomo was previously associated with the Mujuru camp but appears to have switched sides in the ever-changing ZANU PF succession battle.
In terms of the party constitution, provinces nominate the president, the two vice presidents and national chairman. Candidates with the support of more than six provinces are automatically elected into the presidium.
Mnangagwa does not have the support of the three Mashonaland provinces, a crippling disadvantage given the provinces are the last bastions of ZANU PF support.
The politburo sources said contrary to reports that Mnangagwa was also eyeing the chairmanship, the defence minister was fully backing Moyo and had put an elaborate plan in place to secure his and Nkomo’s resounding victory.
The sources said the Mujuru faction which is backing Mpofu to replace Msika would put up a fight, even though their chances are next to zero.
Msika died last Wednesday after a long illness and was buried at the National Heroes Acre on Monday.
ZANU PF deputy spokesperson Ephraim Masawi yesterday said it was too early to speak on the would-be people to succeed Msika.
“We are still mourning our vice president to start discussing his would be successor,” Masawi said. “We will deal with the matter at the appropriate time.”
Moyo at the weekend wrote a newspaper article self-praising himself and chronicling his role in the liberation struggle of the country, while Nkomo had countless interviews narrating his closeness to the late Msika. – ZimOnline