Members down t-shirts

Zapu continued to self-destruct this week in South Africa, when eight of its members tendered their resignation and threw away party t-shirts in protest of what they termed dictatorial tendencies by party leader Dumiso Dabengwa.

Zapu T-shirts
Zapu T-shirts

Coming hard on the heels of the party’s recent suspension of members who allegedly formed a parallel structure, the eight, who included district executives, also accused Dabengwa of being a dictator who ran the party as his personal property.

“As Zapu founder members in South Africa, we were very keen to work for this party and see it grow to a level where it can compete for governance status in Zimbabwe, but all our efforts were frustrated,” said Trevor Sibanda, a former chairman for the party’s Yeoville branch.

“With the way things are being done, it is not clear whether this party is genuine, just a Zanu (PF) project meant to disturb the MDC in Matabeleland or Dabengwa’s personal asset.

“Despite all the work we have put in, we still cannot see where this party is going and as we quit, we would like to warn the public that this so-called Zapu will not take them anywhere and those who believed in its revival should think again and join real formations out there. People must not continue to be played like this.”

The members, some of whom spoke on condition that they are not named, accused Dabengwa and some of his close confidantes within the party’s Council of Elders and war veterans of suppressing democracy by failing to listen to voices of reason within the party.

“The biggest mistake we made was putting Dabengwa at the helm of this party and now I must admit that like Simba Makoni, we have been used as braai sticks by Dabengwa,” added Sibanda.

He accused Dabengwa of failing to exert professional leadership in the party, adding that Mugabe’s former Home Affairs Minister was the main reason the party failed to keep members or lure new ones.

“A fish rots from the head down and Dabengwa’s administration is very poor and cannot put Zapu on the global political stage,” said Sibanda. “Dabengwa has been dividing people and causing factionalism everywhere.”

Another resigning member, Nelson Dlamini, accused Dabengwa of preventing party members from talking ill of Zanu (PF) at rallies.

“The way that he has been talking ill of the MDC and yet protecting Zanu (PF) from members’ criticism shows that he was sent to try and destroy the MDC in Matabeleland. At some stage, he even stopped us from singing anti-Zanu songs,” said Dlamini.

Zapu, which last week “suspended” about 20 party members for between 12-24 months on various charges of indiscipline, has been at war with itself in almost all of its structures since it broke away from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) in 2008. The infighting has impeded any progress in the party.

Post published in: News

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