Mphoko, the Vice President that never was

Mphoko, the Vice President that never was
Published: 29 November 2017 (646 Views)
FORMER Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko will be remembered for all the firsts, albeit all negative, in his brief but forgettable tenure punctuated by political blunders, useless projects and chaotic conduct.

Mr Mphoko, at his appointment in 2015, was the first from the-PF Zapu's Zipra military wing to be appointed Vice President with his predecessors having come from the former party side.

He was the first of the Vice Presidents on the former-PF Zapu side to not only unceremoniously leave office but also while he was alive.

More significantly, Mr Mphoko was the first Vice President from the former-PF Zapu side to avail himself to be used to pursue a narrow factional agenda that not only brought instability within the ruling party but threatened its entire existence.

His predecessors from Dr Joshua Nkomo, Joseph Msika and John Landa Nkomo all died in office from various ailments but all left a great legacy and a good name for themselves.

Apart from signing the historic Unity accord, Dr Nkomo, one of the founding fathers of the country's liberation, was a larger than life character that it would have been unfair even on Cdes Msika and Landa Nkomo to fill his shoes.

However, on their own personal levels they gave a good account of themselves and died with the respect that Mr Mphoko never got to enjoy in his brief stint in the Government and perhaps for the rest of his life.

To sum it up, the futility of Mr Mphoko's tenure as Vice President can be equated to his chicks distribution project, a shortlived yet monumental failure of an initiative that never befitted his status in the first place.

While Msika worked tirelessly for the development of the country and the unity of the people, Mr Mphoko and the collective wisdom of his hangers-on, mostly of dubious if not criminal characters, found it worthwhile to distribute day-old chicks to people who could not even afford to feed themselves.

A whole Vice President distributing chicks that started dying at the distribution point, along the way to the homes of the intended beneficiaries with the surviving ones suffering stunted growth.

There was never a single success story of the chicks project just as Mr Mphoko's barren tenure as former President Mugabe's deputy.

The chicken project was not even worthy to Minister of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni's profile.

Minister Nyoni, in a show of broader vision, sought international markets for local producers of road runner chickens to sell their produce and make money.

Having worked in close proximity with Dr Josh, Minister Nyoni showed that she learnt many things from the revolutionary icon while on the other hand Mr Mphoko seemed not to have any memory of Umdala Wethu's vision giving credence to claims that he abandoned his comrades during the liberation war for a comfortable life in Mozambique.

While the late Landa John Nkomo supported disadvantaged children with scholarships and built the Landa John Nkomo School with state of the art equipment in the heart of Tsholotsho district, Mr Mphoko involved himself in petty fights within the party reducing himself to an extent of participating in petty squabbles within the Bulawayo provincial structures.

To appreciate the extent to which Mr Mphoko was a political disaster, one needs to compare the context of time in which Dr Nkomo conceptualised his development projects compared to Mr Mphoko who came much later.

Those were days before cell phone penetration, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook among other technological developments but Dr Nkomo's vision saw him coming up with projects like the canning of fruits and tomatoes, breeding of pedigree bulls, mining of gold, tea plantations just to mention a few.

Mr Mphoko even had an opportunity to learn from his then colleague and now President of the country Emmerson Mnangagwa who fronted the successful Command Agriculture programme that boosted the country's food security.

One wonders what went on in the minds of Mr Mphoko and his advisors when Mnangagwa, his colleague at the time embarked on a massive project like Command Agriculture among others while they found comfort in the chicks project that would not qualify to be a component of the Command Agriculture.

Instead of emulating his colleague at the time, Mr Mphoko allowed himself to be used by the G40 cabal to fight Mnangagwa and purge other party cadres, mostly with liberation war backgrounds, out of Zanu-PF.

Those who witnessed the Central Committee elections in Bulawayo ahead of the 6th Zanu-PF National People's Congress in 2014 will testify that Mr Mphoko was never in touch with the people and maybe an explanation of his political record.

In the first round of the elections, Mr Mphoko lost to then provincial secretary for finance Charles Chiponda and in panic, his team at the time had to make frantic efforts to convince the electorate to vote him in the second round.

Still, it was not guaranteed that Mr Mphoko would have won had Angeline Masuku not opted out of the race.

From the start, Mr Mphoko's rise was plagued with illegitimacy that haunted him to a point of surrounding himself with rogue elements who played political advisors leading him on a road to political suicide.

Interestingly, some of the party officials who had played a part in making sure that Mphoko was voted to Central Committee were later purged and removed from the party.

He even turned on his war time friend retired Colonel Tshinga Dube who told this paper of his attempts to show him the light but without success.

Mr Mphoko was a mistake and a blemish to the legacy of former Zipra cadres, a mistake that must never be repeated.

Expectation was that, having served as a diplomat having been deployed as the country's Ambassador to Botswana, Russia and South Africa, Mr Mphoko would have learnt diplomacy and decorum associated with high offices but alas.

The only solace out of Mr Mphoko's political record is that he has presented his successors a case study on how not to be a Vice President.

- chronicle

Tags: Mphoko, VP, Zimbabwe,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Violence must be condemned at all levels

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 16 January 2019 | 51 Views

WATCH: Zimbabweans protest in Pretoria Embassy

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 68 Views

Britain warns its citizens in Zimbabwe

by UK gov | 16 January 2019 | 70 Views

PHOTOS: Evan Mawarire being arrested

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 60 Views

Zimbabwe kills commerce and lights, by killing the internet

by Staff reporter | 16 January 2019 | 79 Views

Zimbabwe crisis a warning to SA, says opposition leader

by Business Day | 16 January 2019 | 68 Views

Mugabe-aligned NPF calls for Mnangagwa's resignation

by African News Agency | 16 January 2019 | 83 Views

Calls for diaspora protests at Zimbabwe embassies

by newzimbabwe.com | 16 January 2019 | 75 Views

Soldiers continue to patrol streets

by aljazeera.com | 16 January 2019 | 76 Views

Mnangagwa to buy 'State-of-The-Art' Russian arms

by Sputniknews.com | 16 January 2019 | 74 Views

Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe protests 'fizzling out'

by newzimbabwe | 16 January 2019 | 71 Views

Zimbabweans need to do a serious soul searching

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 16 January 2019 | 82 Views

PHOTOS: Mnangagwa, Mthuli Ncube meet Putin as #ZimbabweShutDown

by Staff Reporter | 16 January 2019 | 78 Views

WATCH: Man in civilian clothing shoots directly at protestors

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 84 Views

'Opposition leaders arrested as scores are killed' says Dzamara

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 82 Views

Latest update on day 2 of Army killings

by Mandla Ndlovu | 16 January 2019 | 83 Views

#ZimbabweShutDown enters day 3

by AP | 16 January 2019 | 86 Views

Zimbabwe businesses losing millions as shutdown continues

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 142 Views

South Africa 'confident' Mnangagwa govt will 'resolve situation'

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 136 Views

Malema's EFF 'extends its solidarity' with the people of Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 142 Views

'Internet shutdown is unconstitutional,' says Jonathan Moyo

by Ndou Paul | 15 January 2019 | 144 Views

May's Brexit deal rejected by 230 votes

by BBC | 15 January 2019 | 94 Views

Strive masiyiwa speaks on Internet blackout

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 January 2019 | 127 Views

'Looters not a threat to anyone,' says Amnesty International?

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 68 Views

PHOTOS: The unlucky protestors who were caught

by Social media | 15 January 2019 | 148 Views

Chamisa fires blank

by Dr Masimba Mavaza | 15 January 2019 | 149 Views

Almost every Choppies shop in Western suburbs was looted

by Social media | 15 January 2019 | 88 Views

Greyhound cancels trips to Zimbabwe indefinitely

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 January 2019 | 96 Views

WATCH:Biti calls for an extra-ordinary SADC summit on Zimbabwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 January 2019 | 116 Views

Soldiers turn rogue and join protestors?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 January 2019 | 146 Views

MDC appeals to International community

by Mandla Ndlovu | 15 January 2019 | 162 Views

Econet declines to comment on internet shutdown

by Staff reporter | 15 January 2019 | 154 Views