ZAPU rocked by infighting

Sources said the ZAPU-UK infighting is a result of factions in the party’s interim national executive where Dumiso Dabengwa and Cyril Ndebele are wrestling for leadership.

Zim Diaspora, a UK based website also revealed that ZAPU-UK has less than £200 in its coffers, an aspect which is also a source of disagreements in the revolutionary party.

Dumiso Dabengwa, the party’s National Interim Chairman issued a directive yesterday to dissolve the UK province after it emerged that petty squabbles wreaking the party were unending despite a popular vote to remove interim chairman Mr Nicholas Ndebele and his treasurer Mr Mqondobanzi Magonya.

The directive was broadcast last night to ZAPU-UK members by Mrs Ruth Ntombie Ncube after she was contacted by Dabengwa acting on behalf of the National Interim Executive in Bulawayo. Mrs Ncube has been an elected administrator of the party in Britain.

However, The Zim Diaspora said they have in possession of an earlier email in which the National Executive had endorsed the vote of no confidence. Insiders say the change of mind by the national executive came after Mr Ndebele presented some damning evidence that there were some elements planning for his downfall.

It is alleged that Mr Aurthor Molife was presented by Mr Ndebele as the source of party problems.

A new interim committee led by vice chairman former Airforce of Zimbabwe engineer Mr Tichaona Dauramanzi had been put in place. Mr Dauramanzi and Mrs Ncube had been given a task to steer the party into fresh election which were scheduled for August.

In an email fowarded to The Zim Diaspora Dabengwa said the national interim executive has considered issues pertaining to the UK province and has agreed to free all the operations of the caretaker committee.

"The past couple of months have been very challenging for the Europe province of ZAPU. On a positive development, the national interim executive has considered issues pertaining to the Europe province and has issued the following directives:
Three elders, namely Mr Johnson Mkandla, Mr Jabavu Mpofu and Mr Treadman Moyo have been appointed to dissolve the provincial executive committee elected on 15 February in Milton Keynes," he said.

"All ZAPU political and financial activities in the Europe and UK Province be frozen forthwith until new elections organised by the elders in line with guidelines issued by the national interim secretary. All members are therefore requested to comply with this directive which is designed to bring about harmony, tranquillity and progress within our province. All further communication and course of action will be communicated by the appointed elders in due course," the email said.

Speaking in an interview after the dissolution, Mr Ndebele, the former human rights activist said: "The party has spoken and the party’s decision should prevail. It is sad that we had to come to this stage. However, at the same time this is victory to to those who did not want to see the party progressing. This has drawn us back. We hope that the council of elders given the task to reorganise the party will do their job very well".

Mr Ndebele would not confirm whether he would stand for the elections or not.

Mrs Ncube who had been the administrator said the party welcomes the directive.

"We have always wanted unity in the party and this directive will present a semblence of peace once again. I believe that the directive will allow democracy to prevail as it present a clear level of playing field," said Mrs Ncube.

Asked how much had been raised by ZAPU-UK, Mr Ndebele said: "We had £200 and we spent some of it on official duties and, so far, we have a little more than £100," he said.

He blamed the party’s lack of progress to some retrogressive elements within the party and hoped that there will be no any other hindrances in future.

Mr Magonya had earlier refused to talk to The Zim Diaspora despite being in possession of the party finances which are also the source of problems.

ZAPU, which was founded by the late Joshua Nkomo in 1961 was forced into a coalition government following a bloody campaign against its supporters by ZANU PF. The Unity Accord was signed after the regime unleashed the North Korean trained 5TH Brigade on ZAPU strongholds – Matabeleland and the Midlands – killing over 20 000 people. The party formally pulled out from the Unity Accord in November last year. (Additional reporting by Zim Diaspora)