Dawn of new political era

dumiso_dabengwa250HARARE ZAPUs newly elected president, Dumiso Dabengwa (Pictured), has declared his partys readiness for elections after successfully hosting its first ever congress at the weekend.

This was in spit of threats by the Agrippa Madlela embattled faction to disrupt the proceedings. Madlela wanted to impose himself as president of the party claiming that Dabengwa had hijacked a party that was already in existence since 1998.

Dabengwa and his party, largely made up of former Zanu (PF) members, got the nod to go ahead with the congress after High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Ndou dismissed an urgent chamber application by Madlela and his secretary Paul Siwela on Friday.

Madlela filed an urgent chamber application directing the Dabengwa-led faction to desist from holding a national congress using the name ZAPU and its logo or party symbol. Despite a myriad of challenges, ZAPU has managed to establish branches across the country where it has 14 provinces, drawing a record more than 6 000 delegates to the congress.

The official opening of the congress on Friday at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) was attended by several diplomats including Ambassador Charles Ray of USA and Ambassador Mlungisi Makhalima of South Africa.

Political parties from the region like the African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto we Sizwe were also represented.

Addressing delegates at the close of the congress, the new party president said ZAPU would adopt a dynamic approach to enhance development in the country. Dabengwa also urged those interested in being voted for in the next elections to start identifying constituencies they are interested in representing.

Dr Dabengwas nomination was endorsed by all the partys fourteen provinces in a ballot presided over by council of elders chairperson, and former minister Thenjiwe Lesabe, on Saturday. Emillia Mukarakatiwa of Mashonaland Central was elected vice president while United Kingdom based Dr Ralph Mguni was elected secretary general. Canciwell Nziramasanga, Bishop Chigwevere, Eken Nkala were elected secretary for information, publicity and marketing, secretary for mobilization and organisation and secretary for security respectively.

Cephas Macdonald Muswere (treasurer), Dr Themba Ndebele (Secretary for health), Lloyd Masarirambi (secretary for economic development), Advocate Stephen Nkiwane (secretary for legal and special affairs), Melusi Gumbo (secretary for cultural and traditional affairs and Dubizizwe Joli Mathe (secretary for external affairs) complete the list of some of the top leaders who were elected.

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