PF Zapu withdraws from Zanu PF

BULAWAYO – Former leaders of the opposition PF ZAPU party say they have pulled out of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU PF party, dealing a body blow to the once formidable party that is in decline after losing elections last March.\r\n

The former leaders said on Thursday they would be holding a convention next month to choose an interim leadership to steer the revival of PF ZAPU and convene a congress by March next year.

In a statement they said all political structures of PF ZAPU incorporated into ZANU PF at the signing of a unity accord with Mugabe’s party in 1987 will in the meantime “cease to operate under the title ZANU PF and resume the title of ZAPU and that all structures operate under the authority of the Constitution of ZAPU”.

The statement added: “The district councils should meet to prepare for and convene a consultative conference consisting of the 10 provinces by December 2008, for the purpose of electing an interim executive charged with the responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party’s congress by March 2009.”

According to sources, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former senior member of ZANU PF and Mugabe’s Cabinet is leading the revival of PF ZAPU and is strongly tipped to be chosen leader by the party congress.

Other former senior PF ZAPU members pushing for the revival of the party include Welshman Mabhena (former ZAPU secretary general), former war veterans’ leader Andrew Ndlovu, former government minister Thenjiwe Lesabe, Effort Nkomo and Tryphine Nhliziyo.

Nkomo and Nhliziyo are presently spokesman and secretary for administration for ZANU PF for Bulawayo province respectively.

ZANU PF later said it had expelled Makoni, who contested the March 29 presidential election as an independent but lost. He is working to form his own political party.

But it would be the pulling out of PF ZAPU or some of its former leaders that could shake ZANU PF to the foundations. Mugabe’s party has always used its 1987 Unity Accord with PF ZAPU to justify its claim that it enjoys the support of Zimbabweans across the country.

Top ZANU PF official and government Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who is also a former ZAPU member, was quick to deny the party had withdrawn from ZANU PF and insisted the Unity Accord was still holding firmly.

He said: "Some claim they have pulled out of the Unity Accord but Vice President Joseph Msika, John Nkomo (all former ZAPU) and myself are still part of the agreement so where is the pull-out when all the senior PF ZAPU leaders are still in ZANU PF."

But a former army colonel Ray Ncube, who is coordinating the revival of PF ZAPU, told ZimOnline: "The party has been revived and I can confirm that there is a management committee that is organising a convention that will lead to the holding of a congress where a leadership will be elected before the end of the year."
– Zimonline