Dabengwa suspends Ndebele and five others

BULAWAYO – The embattled ZAPU Bulawayo Province has suspended six of its members from the party pending disciplinary hearing, it has emerged.

The suspended members are Mr Evans Ndebele, Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, Mr Smile Dube, former Bulawayo councillor Alderman Charles Mpofu, Mr Nhlanhla Ncube and Mr Charles Makhuya.

Evans Ndebele used to own the defunct Zimbabwe Express Airlines and he is the young brother of Cyril Ndebele, the former Speaker to Parliament. The Ndebele family is wealthy and they own Bulawayo based engineering company ZECO, which they bought from Phillip Chiyangwa.

In a statement jointly signed by the provincial chairman Canaan Ncube and secretary for information and publicity Casper Mlilo, the party said the six were suspended for deliberately flouting rules and regulations.

Messrs Ncube and Mlilo said the six senior members were suspended for conduct that was calculated to bring the party into disrepute as well as violation of party procedures.

"Among the reasons for their suspension are the following; holding and seeking to hold unauthorised meetings with the intention of showing insubordination to the party and its leadership. Making statements to the Press that are in contempt of the party leadership," read the statement.

They said the suspended members would face the national disciplinary committee for pursuing a tribal cessationist policy in the name of the party, which is against the founding principles and values of Zapu.

Messrs Ncube and Mlilo said the suspended members were aligned or associated with the distribution of material of the formation of a party called Matabeleland Progressive Party, which was pursuing a cessationist policy.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Mr Dube who is a former Zapu spokesman were fruitless as a female answered his mobile phone and said the former Bulawayo provincial police spokesman was busy.

Alderman Mpofu could not be reached for comment as his landline was reportedly disconnected.

Last month, some Zapu members were arrested following violent clashes with Alderman Mpofu, Rtd Col Ncube and Mr Dube.

Earlier this month, Mr Ndebele and Mr Dube were barred from attending a Zapu National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Gweru.

Further, a meeting that was organised by Mr Ndebele and Mr Dube on 22 December, which was meant to celebrate the "death of Zanu-PF/PF-Zapu 1987 Unity Accord", flopped after residents ignored the gathering. Only five people attended at Macdonald Hall in Mzilikazi.

The meeting was reportedly called to test their strength.

Veteran politician Thenjiwe Lesabe also joined Zapu. (ZimDiaspora)