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The ZAPU's hour of reckoning has come.

27 Oct 2021 at 18:57hrs | Views
The ZAPU National Elective Congress starts tomorrow on the 28th October 2021 at Bulawayo Amphitheatre and it will run until the 30th. The first day is earmarked for receiving delegates from various branches, districts, and provinces and for accreditation and verification. The excitement is palatable, talking to members of ZAPU and some delegates it became clear that they were highly expectant that from the Congress ZAPU will be fully revived and ready to take on ZANU PF toe to toe.

It has been interesting to witness democracy at play and at its best. ZAPU has always been a pacesetter and a trend setter, it was the one which started the liberation struggle, it was the one which started the armed struggle, and it is the one that introduced devolution of power, a concept which ZANU has watered down.

ZAPU allowed all the contestants to publicly declare their interests and to campaign openly. MBC was able to interview the majority of the candidates which included Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo, Mr Bernard Magugu, Mr Mark Mbayiwa, Mr Mqondobanzi Magonya and Ms Sithembiso Mpofu who are all presidential candidates. Mr Strike Mnkandla and Mr Matthew Sibanda were also given opportunities but chose not to take them up. MBC also managed to interview the following Vice Presidential candidates, Mr Baster Magwizi, Mr Iphithule Maphosa, Ms Isabel Murambiwa and Mr Derek Katsenga.

The Secretary General position is contested by Mr Mthulisi Hanana and Mr Future Msebele Zulu who were also interviewed by the MBC. Mr Hanana used to work for Dr Dumiso Dabengwa's Foundation and escaped the country after giving a scathing eulogy at Dr Dabengwa's funeral as the state security apparatus were breathing fire around his neck. Mr Msebele is a very experienced ZAPU cadre, who has been in ZAPU since its revival.

It became clear that ZAPU has quality candidates, what they need to do is to ensure that the losing candidates are accommodated in the party hierarchy. There can only be one president while there are possibly more than 6 candidates, there can only be one vice president while there are four highly qualified contestants and there can only be one Secretary General while there are two very qualified candidates. At least the Secretary Generalship could be easily manoeuvred by making the losing candidate the Deputy General Secretary.

The campaigning by the presidential candidates has reawakened ZAPU structures and exponentially increased its membership. Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo is the leading contender having won more than 7 provincial nominations. Mr Mqondobanzi Magonya recused himself and aligned himself with Mr Nkomo. Also, Mr Fuyane withdrew from the race and aligned himself with Mr Nkomo. Mr Mbayiwa also recently withdrew from the presidential race and preferred to enter the National Chairpersonship race.

If Ms Sithembiso Mpofu wins the presidential race and Ms Murambiwa wins the Vice Presidential race, ZAPU would make history by propelling female candidates to the highest positions.

Many people around the country are talking about ZAPU's resurgence and some of those who were sceptical have come back home to the Mother Party.

It is no longer business as usual in ZAPU. Dr Joshua Nkomo once said, the country will never die, the young people will save it. The struggle continues. The world is watching and hopefully the conduct of the Congress will be beyond reproach.

Written by Thulani Nkala

Source - Thulani Nkala
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