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ZAPU leadership fight meant to reverse congress gains: Hanana

ZAPU secretary-general, Mthulisi Hanana, has said the legal challenge to the current party leadership is meant to reverse the gains of the congress and is driven by mischief and malice.

Last month Hanana wrote to the party’s National Legal Secretary, the Presidency, National Executive Council, Regional Directors and Provincial Executive Councils informing them that five party members who attempted to stop congress last year, have once again taken the party to court.

The five party members are Matthew Sibanda, Echem Nkala, Gideon Dlamini, Ernest Ndlovu and Mildred Mkandla who filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court a day before the congress was slated.

In their High Court application last year, they argued that Nkomo had not been a party member for at least five years and was disqualified from contesting for the presidency.

They later withdrew their court application, which saw Nkomo elected president after the congress proceeded.

However, the battle for the party leadership seems far from over judging by the latest summons.

Speaking Wednesday during This Morning on Asakhe, a daily programme hosted by CITE on Twitter Space, Hanana said ZAPU has always been fought since 1963 to no avail.

“One thing that is always consistent is that there is no one who has taken ZAPU to court and won because ZAPU is one of the few if not the only party that does things by its constitution and whose leaders are elected by the congress and with the popular support of the masses,” he said.

Hanana said those challenging the party leadership knew that people were not going to vote for them at the congress and hatched a plan to block the current leadership, something which was against the constitution but people overwhelmingly voted for Sibangilizwe Nkomo and other leaders.

“But now because they are seeing that the party is growing, the party is making serious inroads, the party is making strides they’ve gone back to court,” he said.

“They feel that their own legacies are threatened by the achievements that are being made by this administration within nine months of coming into the office because the parties growing our numbers are trebling and you can tell even from our previous performance in the by-elections we grew by 215% so they are not happy.”

Hanana suspected that the group fighting them was being used by the state while questioning why somebody who loves ZAPU would take the party to court.

“There is a concerted effort to reverse congress outcomes by people that were leading ZAPU pre-congress and also you’ll discover that there seems to be a plot to fight anything new, anything young in ZAPU,” said Hanana.

“I don’t understand why ZAPU would fight. I am actually the youngest secretary-general that ZAPU has ever had in terms of senior leadership. The only other people that got senior positions at my age were the likes of Dumiso Dabengwa, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo and Lookout Masuku. Now we have old people whose only claim to power or to leadership roles is that they are old, or that they have been in the party longer.”

He added: “If you look at it today, the president is in court, the vice president is in court, and our national chairman has passed on. The Secretary-general is in court. Our treasurer maybe through victimisation of this nature also resigned. Now you wonder what is happening in the party. Even if something were to be wrong, if Congress endorses it, it becomes law because the high-decision-making organ of ZAPU is Congress. Even if we make decisions in between Congress, it is Congress that either ratifies or rejects them.”

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