14 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Must Learn From SA Counterpart

ZANU PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo will lead his party's delegation to the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference which starts in Bloemfontein, South Africa, tomorrow.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed Khaya Moyo would lead the party's delegation but could not name other members of his entourage.

Although Zanu PF has been sending delegations to the ANC elective conferences held every five years, party representatives appear to treat the conferences as mere excursions as they have failed to use such invitations to learn vital lessons on how leadership contests help revive and strengthen the ANC.

President Robert Mugabe has led Zanu PF virtually unchallenged since he manoeuvred his way to the top in 1977. Instead, the party's provincial structures have stampeded to endorse his leadership months ahead of all party gatherings, including elective congresses. In contrast the ANC is a dynamic party which allows any member in good standing to be nominated by the party's branch members for any leadership position.

South African President Jacob Zuma will be challenged by his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe for the ANC presidency after he accepted nomination yesterday.

Zuma was nominated by six provinces to remain party leader while Motlanthe has the backing of three provinces.

Whereas talk of leadership renewal in Zanu PF is taboo, several ANC branches and national executive committee members have openly nominated Motlanthe to challenge Zuma in open intra-party democracy that Zanu PF believes is alien as long as Mugabe wishes to continue leading the party. Each of the ANC's over 4 000 branches make nominations for the party's top six officials, including the president and deputy, and 80 members of the national executive committee as well as delegates to the conference. Voting is ultimately by secret ballot conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission.

Motlanthe accepts ANC nomination

AFRICAN National Congress deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday announced his intention to challenge party and South African President Jacob Zuma at the party's elective congress in Mangaung next week.

Motlanthe's announcement ended months of speculation over what course of action he would take after being nominated by the party's youth league, although indications are that he is unlikely to win.

South Africa's media has been awash with reports Zuma is heading for a comfortable victory on the basis of votes taken by a show of hands in ANC branches around the country.

Motlanthe is not even likely to retain his post as deputy president after former ANC secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa emerged the leading contender in the provincial nominations.

Zuma registered strong support in provinces like KwaZulu-Natal, which has by far the most conference delegates, as well as Mpumalanga, North West, Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. All in all he has 2 521 branch nominations and Motlanthe a paltry 863.

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