ZAPU to celebrate 50 years in existence

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY ZAPU PRESIDENT DR D DABENGWA AT A PRESS CONFERENCE IN BULAWAYO ON THE PARTY’S 50TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSSARY CELEBRATIONS.

Dumiso Dabengwa
Dumiso Dabengwa

DECEMBER 1, 2011

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.

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.

SPEECH BY THE ZAPU NATIONAL COUNCIL OF ELDERS CHAIRPERSON, ELDER LLOYD NYAKABANGWE AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE TO ANNOUNCE THE PARTY’S GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS.

December 1, 2011

We, the elders and founders of Zapu, are happy today that our party, the father and mother of all politics in the country, has lived to see this day. We are happy again that the party has held a fully-fledged, successful congress to recharge itself to once more lead the people of Zimbabwe to demand and win true democracy and freedom for all the people of Zimbabwe.

We founded Zapu, kept it going during the liberation struggle, shepherded it during the bad times between 1980 and 1987, and kept it alive in the belly of the beast for 22 years. Zapu is a phenomenon that will never die. We are happy as your elders that we played our part in the revival of Zapu by guiding the leadership and the younger generations to successfully revive the party. We remain available to continue playing that role. Zapu belongs to the young people, whose destiny is at stake.

Our role is to guide, advise and mediate, and where absolutely necessary, discipline offending members of the party. We want Zapu to live forever. That can only happen if people are disciplined, loyal, accommodative, united and patriotic.

SPEECH BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE ZAPU GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS ORGANISING COMMITTEE, MR CANAAN NCUBE, DECEMBER 1, 2011.

We have booked and paid for the use of Barbourfields Stadium for the 17th of December to host our Golden Jubilee Celebrations. We have obtained the necessary police clearance to hold the function, though we wish to engage the police to allow the celebrations to go up to 9 pm, and not the 4 pm they have stipulated.

The choice of Bulawayo and Barbourifields Stadium to host the event was natural. All politics, in fact everything, began in Bulawayo. Again, Bulawayo has always been the home ground of Zapu. The people of Bulawayo deserve to wtiness this once-in-a-life time occasion – the one and only 50th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s only founder and authentic liberation movement.

Babourifleds is spacious and has the bfest facilities for hosting large crowds. Most people in Bulawayio are familiar with the venue which is home ground to soccer giants and legends, Highlanders FC.

I am happy to announce that my committee has at hand 12 beasts donated by wellwishers to feed people during the occasion. Our target is to have 40 000 people at Babourfields Stadium. We hope to mobilize 80 beasts to feed them.

Zapu friends in South Africa have booked and paid for mbaqanga music legends, the ever popular Soul Brothers to be part of the entertainment menu. Several high profile local artists such as the legendary Black Umfolosi and the queen of the stage, Sandra Ndebele, among others are earmarked to be part of this historic occasion. Every entertainer, ozwa kusitsho, is free to approach us to be part of the event. As they say, ongafuniyo is free not to be part of it. Every Zimbabwean owes Zapu a favour, but our party respects people’s rights and will never coerce anyone to do something they are not free or willing to do.

We expect a joyous, peaceful and successful event. Our own security department, in conjunction with the police, will provide security.

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