Zapu step up election fight

HARARE - Dumiso Dabengwa has established new Zapu youth and women committees that he hopes will help him win the forthcoming polls.

Zapu’s new women’s wing, the Zimbabwe African Women’s Union (Zawu) led by Getrude Makwila and the Mehluli Moyo-led national youth front were selected on Sunday at Pelandaba Hall in Bulawayo, and will be in office for 24 months.

“The leadership to be elected today is interim and Zapu is looking at the Zawu and youth to take it to power, come elections this year,” Dabengwa said.

“Zawu are the wings, the youth are the legs and without that Zapu cannot move. People in the country are saying they do not see Zapu because there are no wings and legs. Assistance will be provided both in cash and kind early this month to see the party moving,” he said without stating the source of the funds.

A former Home Affairs minister, Dabengwa and several senior Zanu PF officials resigned from Zanu PF ahead of the 2008 vote to back Simba Makoni, leader of an opposition splinter group, in the presidential elections.

Makoni is also a former Zanu PF Politburo member and Finance minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Dabengwa later confessed that the Mavambo project was aimed at preventing the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai — then an opposition leader, from beating Mugabe out rightly.

After Makoni came third in the 2008 presidential race, polling 8,3 percent of the presidential vote, Dabengwa severed ties with the former minister and revived Zapu with war veterans largely from his Ndebele ethnic group.

Dabengwa is now the interim president of Zapu, and told the Pelandaba meeting the challenge bedevilling the country was to create democracy.

The ex-Zipra intelligence supremo said his party strongly wants the country reverting to the five provinces namely Manicaland, Mashonaland, Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland and with the central government making sure these provinces are functioning properly.

He bemoaned what is happening in Marange where he said “diamonds are mined to fatten people’s pockets and the revenue collected does not get to the minister of Finance”.

He said he was confident of winning the forthcoming polls.

Zapu vice president Emelia Mukaratirwa urged women to stand up and work for the party. - Gift Phiri, Political Editor

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