Zapu ready to take bull by its horns

Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa said this week that his party was ready to “take any bull by its horns” in the forthcoming by-elections.

Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa : participation not a seal of approval of ZEC conduct.
Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa : participation not a seal of approval of ZEC conduct.

Zapu fielded candidates in each of the five vacant seats in Zimbabwe’s second biggest city and Dabengwa, who held a series of door-to-door campaigns in each of the constituencies with the candidates, was convinced that the time was ripe for Zapu to return to parliament as an independent party for the first time since the 1987 Unity Accord with Zanu (PF).

Zapu will be represented by Alderman Michael Batandi Ronald Mpofu in Pumula, Amon Dube Nyamambi in Luveve, Jonathan Ndlovu in Makokoba, Casper Sibanda in Njube-Lobengula and Strike Mkandla in Mpopoma.

“We had initially said we would not participate in the by-elections in protest against the current flawed system under which the elections are being conducted, but party leaders in Bulawayo Province said they felt ready to give it a go, so we fully gave them our support as a party,” said the Zapu leader in an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean recently.

Proper structures

“We have done our groundwork and I believe that Zapu is now ready to take any bull by its horns. The inroads we have made across the country are quite commendable and the party now has offices and proper structures both at home and in the Diaspora. What is now left is for us to proceed with the task we have of freeing Zimbabweans both politically and economically,” he said.

“The values we fought for during the liberation struggle have been thrown down the drain by the current government, which has abdicated its role of serving the people to breed leaders pre-occupied with enriching themselves.”

But Dabengwa was quick to point out that participation in the June 10 poll was not a seal of approval for the conduct of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which Zapu took to court a few months ago.

“This should by no means be viewed as a climb-down from our court challenge in which we are seeking enforcement in the implementation of the country’s electoral laws. We are going into the elections under protest and out court challenge is still continuing,” he said.

In the Electoral Court application, Dabengwa cited the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Chief Elections Officer and the former Minister of Justice Emmerson Mnangagwa as respondents, as he argued through his lawyers that the ZEC had failed to comply with the new constitution by not registering voters, not compiling voters’ rolls and not providing copies of voters’ rolls to people who wanted copies.

The ZEC argued that it did not have enough resources to carry out its constitutional duties.

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