ZAPU Golden Jubilee president's press release

On the 17th December this year, 2011 our Party ZAPU celebrates 50 years of existence. The birth of ZAPU in 1961 was the inception of the vision of the true freedom of the entire peoples of Zimbabwe, irrespective of their race, colour, tribe, gender or any conceivable differences, differences which woven together make us who we are as Zimbabweans.

Dumiso Dabengwa
Dumiso Dabengwa

There is no party in existence in Zimbabwe and perhaps in Africa that can, in honesty claim not to have benefited from the lofty vision of freedom espoused at the inception of ZAPU. Truly ZAPU was the alpha and omega of true freedom in Zimbabwe.

In true ZAPU spirit, the jubilee celebrations on 17 December 2011 will demonstrate the freedom espoused in the ZAPU DNA where all Zimbabweans and indeed all peoples of the world who cherish and share the vision of freedom for all will come together as one. No one excepted! The paradox that lies in true liberation for all is that even those who would seek to deny others the freedom they seek stand to benefit when at last all are liberated.

The quest for freedom resides in every human spirit, it cannot be suppressed as some have tried in vain to do, it cannot be faked either, again as many attempts have been made to do so. When the ZAPU spirit is re-ignited in all Zimbabweans, at long last the people of Zimbabwe will know what they always for longed for, what those visionaries back in 1961 saw clearly as the destiny for Zimbabwe. Through ZAPU true freedom will be transferred from the clutches of a few individuals to all the peoples of Zimbabwe.

Fifty years of existence is a milestone. What makes Zapu’s attainment of the Golden Jubilee unique is that it was achieved against all odds. For 19 years between 1961 and 1980, Zapu became the prime target of the vicious colonial regime but survived to lead the people of Zimbabwe in the political and military struggle to bring independence. Soon after independence, Zapu found its life threatened, this time by fellow liberation movement Zanu, who wanted our party liquidated in order to establish a one-party state.

Literally Zapu, its leadership, membership, and indeed the innocent people who supported the party, were put in front of the pointed guns of the Fifth Brigade during Gukurahundi. Well over 20 000 people lost their lives at the hands of the Fifth Brigade, while thousands others were brutalised, raped and tortured – their only crime was supporting Zapu, the founder and authentic liberation movement of Zimbabwe. Our leader, Dr Joshua Nkomo was called a snake whose head must be crashed. He only survived by making good his escape and seeking refugee in Botswana, then in Britain. Some of us spent a good five years in illegal detention in prisons around the country.

Today, we declare that the people’s grief and suffering was not in vain. Their Zapu is back, and back for good. This is a party that has survived two armed offensives, and for 22 years decided to get into the belly of the beast in order to survive. We knew the beast was going to die one day and we would come out. Sadly, others are still stuck in the bell of the beast, waiting to die in there or come out when the dead beast decays.

Zapu has invited sister liberation movements such as the ANC, MPLA, Frelimo and Swapo and governments and political parties from neighbouring states, and ambassadors to attend the occasion.

We are looking forward to a very successful Golden Jubilee Celebration which will convince the few remaining doubting Thomases that Zapu means serious business.

I thank you.

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