Dabengwa broke away from Zanu PF in the run up to the March 2008 harmonised elections when he supported Simba Makoni of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, who however lost the presidential race.
Now cracks have started to emerge in the PF Zapu youths disrupting a party meeting at Beit hall at Luveve in Bulawayo on Sunday. The youths claimed the meeting was not sanctioned by Dabengwa.
"You are telling people lies Charles, who told you to hold this rally? Where is Dabengwa if the province sanctioned this rally?),” said one of the youths who appeared to be the leader.
Charles Mpofu is a former Bulawayo councillor and was the master of ceremony at the meeting that involved some people who were very vocal on the revival of the party. These included people like Dr Themba Dlodlo, who is a lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), war veterans Retired Colonel Ray Ncube and Smile Dube, who is a former ZRP provincial spokesman.
"The thing here is that people think Dabengwa has sold out and was seen last week with Zanu pf officials at Sikhanyiso Ndlovu’s offices in Mpopoma where they were plotting how John Nkomo will become Vice President.
He is in Zapu but busy having secret meetings with Zanu guys. People don’t trust him anymore," said one of the senior members of the party in Bulawayo.
During the commotion,party supporters bolted outside and ran for dear life. However, party supporters who numbered about 500 later re-grouped and pursued the youths. When the supporters caught up with them, there was an exchange of missiles before they managed to apprehend two of them.
Zapu supporters assaulted the youths.
The rally was held to discuss the issue of the party’s constitution ahead of the congress and also to advise supporters about Zapu’s position on the constitution- making process.
Mpofu condemned the violence saying if there were any grievances in the party, they should be solved amicably. He said the party could have been infiltrated by opposition elements (Zanu PF).
“It’s unfortunate for people to abuse our children and sponsor violence. Unfortunately the violence was sponsored internally. These boys said they were paid to act the way they did. It’s saddening that we still have people with such a mentality in our party. We want to dissociate ourselves from his violence,” said Mpofu.
He said Zapu as a party was bigger than individuals and members should desist from the tradition of violence.
“The revival of the party is irreversible as shown here by the bumper crowd and the wave is unstoppable.Anyone who thinks we are an agent of another party should get lost. If people have grievances they should raise them so that they are resolved amicably,” said Mpofu.