Former ZAPU Secretary General (SG), Dr Strike Mkandla, is accusing the party’s Council of Elders of failing to act on his expulsion from the party, as he refuses to back down in his quest to find the motive of his dismissal from the opposition party.
Dr Mkandla claimed instead of the party harnessing all its forces ahead of the 2023 elections, the ZAPU leadership led by Sibangilizwe Nkomo was going after those assumed to be a threat.
Despite what he may think of Nkomo’s leadership, the former SG insisted he had not criticised it but noted the party has shown a lack of goodwill by going after members like him.
“I have not communicated to anyone what I think about them even about the things they do and the manner in which they do them. When everyone is trying to think of the 2023 elections, these guys seem to be preoccupied with pointing the gun at their feet,” he said at a presser Friday.
“How do you start attacking your own members before you even say what your strategy is in terms of national procedure barely six months before national elections? Instead of harnessing all of your forces, they are attacking some people who are there at their disposal. Well, I don’t think I will be at the disposal of anybody now after all this.”
Dr Mkandla expressed concern that the Council of Elders, responsible for national disciplinary hearings, had not been forthright about their expulsion.
“The Council of Elders didn’t say anything for or against me and they didn’t institute anything. This is a dereliction of duty by the Council of Elders leadership. It’s very serious and it’s unprecedented in ZAPU that people can be charged and expelled and they don’t say anything,” he said.
“It can be something if they said ‘we will not tell you the reasons but we sat down and we have a dossier somewhere but we are not publicising.’ As far as I know, they probably haven’t got reasons.”
The former SG chastised the ZAPU leadership for having historical amnesia and misrepresenting facts in order to dismiss people like him.
“I find it quite amusing that today, the ZAPU which is there is on and on about (Joshua) Nkomo. Nkomo died in Zanu, for goodness’ sake! He was a Zanu prisoner in the figurative sense. He was stuck in the Unity Accord until he died. He was not a happy man but now even his son makes noise, ‘Nkomo this, Nkomo that’,” he said.
“You will think (Dr Dumiso) Dabengwa was never around and yet from 2010 after ZAPU was reorganised Dabengwa chaperoned this thing. Now some of these people who have historical amnesia start talking about Nkomo all the time and forget that ZAPU had a name today was because of Dabengwa.”
Dr Mkandla admitted to having “very strong views about historical amnesia,” which appears to minimise what Dabengwa did between 2010 and his death in 2019.
“Let’s give praise where it is due, there are many who sacrificed,” said the former SG, noting that people like him were an asset to the party.
“You don’t find leadership, the leadership is there, they are supposed to lead, that is their job to find who is there, what they know and what they can get from there. Ask what documentation they have. For example, I have been a minefield of documentation from 2010 because I wrote the 2010 ZAPU manifesto, I supervised the writing of the planning for congress in 2016, I was there for the 2015 by-elections. I was there in 2018 for the inter-party negotiations with Dabengwa and they are not trying to figure out what was happening.”
Dr Mkandla added, “I have been at their disposal but the best way to treat capacity is to attack it in case it may not be happy about you. Now that’s an odd way to operate, to instinctively attack anything that has a bit of capacity.”
He also admitted that he did not fully recognise the current ZAPU leadership because of how it was behaving.
“Definitely no… Before congress, I was watching things and the bastardisation of our processes so I will not give a blanket yes to the leadership that is there. But I have not attacked so far. It’s not a lack of potential to attack but I haven’t attacked anyone,” said the former SG.
On whether he missed the ‘signals’ that he was no longer wanted at ZAPU, Dr Mkandla stated, “even meteorologists make mistakes and come up with their own assumptions, in this case, I’m not in a position to read what they are thinking, but what they have shown is lack of goodwill.
“In last few weeks I’ve seen that if you keep quiet, you are too quiet for comfort. They wonder why you are quiet and show that when you keep quiet, it is an offence,” he explained.