The much-awaited Zapu elective congress kicks off tomorrow in Bulawayo after having been postponed more than once owing to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
The party will elect a new leader to replace its late leader and national hero Dumiso Dabengwa, who passed away in 2019.
Dabengwa became the party’s president when it pulled out from ZANU-PF in 2009 and remained at its helm until his demise two years ago.
Six candidates, namely: party Secretary-General – Dr Strike Mkandla, party Treasurer General – Mark Mbayiwa, former Matabeleland South chairperson – Matthew Sibanda, Bernard Magugu, Sithembiso Mpofu based in the United Kingdom and Sibangilizwe Nkomo, son of the party’s late founding leader Joshua Nkomo are set to battle it out for the party’s top highest position.
Nkomo has been touted as the leading contender for the party’s presidency notwithstanding critics alleging his nomination was surrounded by controversy.
In a statement, the ZAPU media team said the momentous event for the revolutionary party has finally arrived.
The team said ZAPU’s principles anchored on empowering citizens, set the party apart from the rest.
“That vision appears to have eluded our nation, hence the intractable problems that continue to engulf our country,” said ZAPU.
“As long as parties, both in government and opposition, seek power so that leaders enjoy unfettered fame and fortune, the trajectory of Zimbabwe will remain the same, a ruling elite rolling in wealth and a citizenry wallowing in pain and abject poverty. The ZAPU way would never allow for such, our party guards against this through its strong institutions, which ensure that real power resides with the members and the citizens.”
The contests for leadership positions, ZAPU said, has shown the wealth of talent in the party.
“All those who have come forward have been spurred on by the central belief in ZAPU, servant leadership,” said the media team.
“None of those contests are aiming at individual glory and upliftment but the vision of wanting to see ZAPU and Zimbabwe great again! In any contest, there are, of necessity strongly held views that will be expressed, sometimes forcefully, otherwise why would there be competition at all. In ZAPU competition does not end up with losers; all who express the wish to lead will find a position to show their skills, one way or another.”
The congress will end over the weekend after the election of new leaders into various offices including the president. Acting president Isaac Mabuka will not be contesting.