John Nkomo - Political Career

Political Career

Nkomo was a member of Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) before the party merged with Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) to create ZANU-PF in 1987. He was Minister of Labour, Manpower Planning, and Social Welfare as of May 1990.

Nkomo, who had previously served as Minister of Home Affairs, was moved to the position of Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office in a cabinet reshuffle on August 25, 2002. This was seen as a demotion and was attributed to a power play in ZANU-PF. Following the March 2005 parliamentary election, he became Speaker of Parliament in April 2005.

In November 2006, while serving his term as the Speaker of Parliament, John Nkomo shocked many people declaring his intention to seek the candidature for ZANU-PF for the next presidential election. Nkomo did not seek the nomination, however, as President Robert Mugabe chose to run for re-election.

Nkomo did not stand as a candidate in the 2008 parliamentary election, but following the election he was appointed to the Senate by Mugabe on August 25, 2008. Later, when the national unity government was appointed in February 2009, he became Minister of State in the President's Office.

Nkomo was widely viewed as a moderate member within the ZANU-PF leadership. He was elected as Vice-President of ZANU-PF by a party congress on December 12, 2009, succeeding Joseph Msika, who had died a few months beforehand. He was then sworn in as Vice-President of Zimbabwe by President Mugabe on December 14. Along with Joyce Mujuru (who represents the party's ZANU wing), Nkomo was one of two vice-presidents. In an interview at the time of his swearing-in, Nkomo expressed his commitment to the success of the national unity government and said that he would work to facilitate the achievement of its goals.

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