Sipepa Nkomo to join ZimPF

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Reporter

OP­PO­SI­TION Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) faces a mas­sive ex­o­dus of se­nior mem­bers in Mata­bele­land re­gion amid re­ports that its vice pres­i­dent Dr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo on Thurs­day an­nounced he was cross­ing over to Dr Joice Mu­juru’s Zim­babwe Peo­ple First (ZimPF). Dr Sipepa Nkomo has al­legedly been promised the vice pres­i­dency at ZimPF. He held a closed door meet­ing at the homestead of one of the party’s se­nior mem­bers at Lusum­bani Vil­lage in Hwange where he re­port­edly an­nounced to se­nior party pro­vin­cial mem­bers his de­ci­sion to dump PDP and join ZimPF.

In at­ten­dance were his wife Mrs Rose­line Sipepa Nkomo, PDP deputy na­tional or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary Mr Gift Mab­hena, Mata­bele­land North deputy or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary Mr Faza Mpunzi, Mrs Selina Mbewe, Mr Mehluli Sibanda and Mr Lucky Ndlovu.

In­sid­ers say Dr Sipepa Nkomo’s de­ci­sion fol­lows the fail­ure by Dr Mu­juru and PDP leader Mr Tendai Biti to agree on the terms of a coali­tion. Mr Biti re­port­edly wants to be pres­i­dent of the al­liance but Dr Mu­juru would have none of it. She promised Dr Sipepa Nkomo the post of vice pres­i­dent as well as five se­nior ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions for Mata­bele­land re­gion.

PDP spokesper­son Mr Ja­cob Ma­fume said he wasn’t aware of the Hwange meet­ing and Mr Sipepa Nkomo’s de­fec­tion.

Mr Mab­hena con­firmed the meet­ing took place but said Dr Sipepa Nkomo was still weigh­ing his op­tions.

“He isn’t cross­ing over but said he is hav­ing con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings to check on is­sues and con­cerns in PDP. He hasn’t made a de­ci­sion. There will be a meet­ing at man­age­ment level next week and that’s when he would then make a de­ci­sion,” said Mr Mab­hena.

He couldn’t shed more light on the kind of con­sul­ta­tions Dr Sipepa Nkomo was mak­ing and the in­volve­ment of the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers. Dr Sipepa Nkomo couldn’t be reached as his mo­bile phone rang unan­swered yes­ter­day.

Mr Ma­fume said Mr Sipepa Nkomo was yet to com­mu­ni­cate his de­ci­sion to the party. “There is noth­ing like a fall­out be­tween the two lead­ers (Mr Biti and Dr Mu­juru). Our pres­i­dent has put it clear that the coali­tion isn’t about po­si­tions and as such he can be any­thing in the new Zim­babwe,” he said.

Mr Ma­fume said coali­tion talks be­tween his party and other op­po­si­tion par­ties were in progress.

“He hasn’t com­mu­ni­cated to the party but in the event that it’s true then that will only be a merry-go-round be­cause the op­po­si­tion is talk­ing about a coali­tion. We are clear that the op­po­si­tion is go­ing to co­a­lesce but not for po­si­tions. So far we are hav­ing talks, de­tails of which I can’t di­vulge now. We have no con­tra­dic­tion and if he of­fi­cially com­mu­ni­cates we will see,” said Mr Ma­fume.

Two months ago Dr Sipepa Nkomo at­tended a ZimPF rally in Binga where he told Dr Mu­juru he had been sent by Mr Biti to de­liver a sol­i­dar­ity mes­sage. ZimPF spokesper­son Mr Jeal­ous Mawarire said:

“There is no for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion to that ef­fect but all I can say is that any­one can join Peo­ple First. As a party we don’t cau­cus to lure peo­ple or prom­ise po­si­tions. We are an all in­clu­sive party and if he joins and be­comes a bonafide mem­ber, he is free to chal­lenge for any po­si­tion.”

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