Preps for Zapu congress back on track

PREPARATIONS for Zapu’s elective congress are back on track with the continuation of provincial conferences following the recent relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown regulations, the party’s acting president Isaac Mabuka confirmed.

The party was forced to halt the holding of provincial conferences after the country was moved back to Level 4 following a spike in Covid-19 infections and fatalities.

At the time, the opposition party had held one provincial conference in Matabeleland South where Sibangilizwe Nkomo, the son of the late nationalist Joshua Nkomo who is accused by other presidential hopefuls of riding on his father’s legacy, thumped other presidential aspirants.

 “We are hopeful that the congress will be held on the 29th or 30th of October. With the easing of the lockdown regulations, the party will continue with the holding of provincial conferences,” Mabuka said in an interview.

The country is now on Level 2 lockdown. The party once considered having a virtual congress but the idea did not find full support.

“We are thinking of having the congress in Bulawayo at Amphitheatre unless advised otherwise by the congress planning committee which looks at the availability of resources necessary for the successful holding of the congress,” Mabuka added.

Other ZAPU presidential candidates include ZAPU treasurer-general – Mark Mbayiwa, party’s Secretary-General – Dr Mkandla, party’s former Matabeleland North chairperson – Matthew Sibanda, Bernard Magugu and a female candidate Sithembiso Mpofu based in the United Kingdom.

Zapu’s congress was initially scheduled for August before the announcement of Level 4 lockdown regulations.

The late Father Zimbabwe was the leader of PF Zapu. In 1987, Nkomo’s PF Zapu signed a Unity Accord with Zanu to ostensibly bring an end to Gukurahundi.

In 2008, the late Dumiso Dabengwa led a number of ex PF Zapu officials in breaking away from Zanu PF to relaunch their party. Dabengwa led the re-birthed Zapu till he passed away in May 2019.

Mabuka, who has been acting since then, has announced that he will not contest for the presidency.

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