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ZAPU on the roll

24 Jul 2013 at 11:15hrs | Views
In a show of force reminiscent of the 1980s, ZAPU made a bold statement of political intent on the 20th of July in Bulawayo. If anyone had doubt about ZAPU's capacity to be in government from the 1st of August they had to be at Stanley Square to witness the resurrection of the raging, charging black bull. People came in their numbers to listen to President Dumiso Dabengwa deliver a speech so full of the past, the present and the future, all pregnant with promise. Conservative estimates put the jubilant crowd at over 6000 people who filled Stanley Square to the brim. The most exciting thing about this rally is that of the over 6000 people who attended, not a single soul was forced, induced or bussed to attend. All came because they not only wanted to, but felt duty bound to be part of a new revolution centered on devolution of political power. They came because they understand that the best form of indigenization is devolution. Indeed they all came because they all want to become masters of their fortunes or lack thereof. And President Dabengwa didn't disappoint them.

Displaying the agility of a teenager, the Black Russian mesmerized the crowd with some toyi toying and revolutionary dances whose echo was felt at White City stadium with chilling effect to those congregated there. On a day when ZAPU was left to defend its liberated zones when its alliance partners had gone on the offensive in the Zambezi front of the BaTonga tribesman, it needed a plan executed with precise accuracy. Coordinated by a team of dedicated cadres dotted on over three continents, and led by the Secretary General Dr Ralph Mguni, the organizers of this rally delivered a memorable and historical event whose effect will surely change the political packing order for the foreseeable future. Hours of Skype meetings late into the night between members in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Canada, USA and England culminated in this well attended rally.

On the business of the day, President Dabengwa chronicled the role played by ZAPU in the struggle for self determination, human rights and the sacrosanct principle of one man one vote. He further highlighted that the objectives for which ZAPU spent 18 years fighting a bush war where many lives were lost have not been achieved 53 years on. As examples President Dabengwa mentioned among irregularities the following; about 2 million eligible young voters who have been unregistered, 900,000 duplicate entries in the voters roll, 109,000 persons registered who are over 100 years old while about a whopping 320,000 registered voters are over 80 years old.

"That is why you find ZAPU still placing the respect for human rights at the centre of our campaign. It is the essence of democracy. It is the compass of nation building politics and governance. That is the foundation for peace in any nation" said President Dabengwa.

He continued, "In other words, ZAPU-way back then-as it is now, was fighting for human rights before that phrase even became the popular buzzword it has now become. We were visionary then and we are experienced now." With regards to ZAPU's flirtation with Zanu after Gukurahundi, President Dabengwa had this to say: "ZAPU fails to understand and is shocked by those that question our decision to join Zanu in 1987 when the same critics were actually fierce supporters and dedicated members of Zanu during the atrocities before joining the 'opposition'."

With regards to the grand coalition talks, Dr Dabengwa said, "Morgan Tsvangirai, Simba Makoni and Ndonga only approached us with three days to go before the closure of nominations. They had already handed in theirs. Makoni had already stood down for Morgan and ZAPU was supposed to just come in and rubber-stamp their cozy arrangement. We politely declined. I ZAPU ayifi yaginywa futhi!!! And that is before we even discussed the issues of commonality of principles on devolution, democracy, morality, corruption, economics or Gukurahundi. Ngakho-ke we told them ukuthi kasiye ebantwini. Should there be a runoff, bazafunda ukuza ngenhlonipho bezocela uncedo".

Looking ahead the ZAPU President said the incoming government, which ZAPU is expected to hold the balance of power, will be expected to complete the GPA roadmap by aligning all the country's laws with the new constitution and implementing all the necessary reforms. He said this can only be achieved with the force of a party with a back bone grounded on revolutionary history with an understanding of people's struggles. That party, he said, can only be ZAPU.

On the economic front, ZAPU are the instigators of devolution of power. This is the best form of indigenization as it gives an opportunity to locals to find local solutions to local economic, social and political problems through local ideas without outsourcing them to others. This is expected to spur development through the management and distribution of resources by locals for locals and their local needs and requirements.

In the final analysis, it is now beyond doubt that ZAPU is back and already making a mark in Zimbabwe body politic. A few but significant success stories have been scored already, notably the inclusion of the watered down devolution concept in the new constitution as well as proportional representation. If ZAPU could achieve so much while holding no levers of governing power, can you imagine how much can be accomplished with representation at local government, provincial government and national government? Therefore it is every Zimbabwean's duty to exercise their rights to vote and vote ZAPU in order to fulfill the people's aspirations. Remember what ZAPU can do for you after the 31st of July depends on what you do on the 31st July.

Mso Ndlovu is a member of ZAPU writing in his personal capacity. He can be contacted on

Source - Mso Ndlovu
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