ZANU-PF big wigs in Matabeleland North province snubbed a party organised by the party’s youth league to celebrate the appointment of provincial members into the Politburo at the weekend.The party, which was held at the Freedom Square in Binga Centre, was only attended by one Politburo member, Cde Obert Mpofu, who was the guest of honour.
Cde Mpofu is Zanu-PF’s secretary for finance in the Politburo.
Other Politburo members including Ambassador Cain Mathema, Cdes Sithembiso Nyoni, Thokozile Mathuthu and Professor Jonathan Moyo did not attend the event.
One of the organisers of the event who spoke on condition of anonymity said invitations were extended to Cde Mpofu, Ambassador Mathema, Prof Moyo, Cde Nyoni and Cde Mathuthu among other party leaders.
“Invitations were extended to all the Politburo members in the province but only the guest of honour Cde Mpofu attended. We were surprised at the absence of the other Politburo members. The party was a resounding success nonetheless,” said the source.
While it is understandable that Prof Moyo could not attend the party since he is said to be out of the country, the same could not be said of Ambassador Mathema, Cde Nyoni and Cde Mathuthu.
Their failure to attend the party was read in certain circles as a sign of solidarity with Cde Nyoni whom party youths had barred from the event.
Cde Nyoni has of late hogged the limelight after she accused Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial leadership of being shallow after its failed bid to have her removed from the Central Committee in the run up to the party’s 6th National People’s Congress last month.
The Matabeleland North provincial executive had attempted to block Cde Nyoni’s nomination to the Central Committee along with that of Cdes Jacob Mudenda, Fati Mpofu and Elias Mavule.
The youth leadership barred Cde Nyoni from attending the celebrations party insisting that she she should apologise to the provincial leadership first for labelling them “shallow”.
Asked to comment on the latest developments, Cde Nyoni said: “I told you that I’m not commenting on that issue anymore.”
Cde Mathuthu could not be drawn to explain why she did not attend saying that it was not this publication’s business what events she is invited to and which ones she decides to attend.
“Why should it be your concern whether or not I was invited to the party? In fact, it’s not your newspapers’ business to be worried about where I’m invited. Why is it of interest whether I’m invited to a wedding or a party or any other event and whether or not I choose to attend the event? It’s my personal business.
“Ask the organisers of the event for their invitation list and see if I was invited,” she said before hanging up the phone.
Another big-wig who was in no-show is Ambassador Mathema.
Cde Mathema who heads the department of Land Reform and Resettlement in the party said he did not want to be used to fan divisions in the province by commenting on everything. “I didn’t attend the party and I’ll not explain to you why I didn’t attend. I don’t want to fight and I don’t want to be involved in any fight whatsoever in the province,” he said.
Zanu-PF provincial youth chairperson, Tamuka Nyoni, one of the organisers of the party, who also failed to attend the event said it went on well even in his absence.
Cde Nyoni said he had been informed that ordinary party members had attended the event in their numbers. “I didn’t attend because I had other commitments,” he said.
President Mugabe last month appointed five members from Matabeleland North province into the Politburo.
Cde Mpofu was elevated to the post of Secretary for Finance while Ambassador Mathema was appointed to head the Land Reform and Resettlement department, Cde Mathuthu secretary for Gender, Cde Nyoni secretary for business liaison while Prof Moyo was appointed Secretary for Science and Technology.