ZAPU is set to hold nationwide and diaspora meetings with its members and supporters in a bid to collectively chart the way forward for the revolutionary mother party.
This follows persistent challenges affecting the party, ranging from financial, to electoral failures and the recent passing of its president, the late national hero, Dr. Dumiso Dabengwa.
The party is also preparing for its national congress due in August 2020 and the meetings are set to become part of the preparations for the meeting.
In an interview with CITE, ZAPU National Spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa, confirmed the development, saying the meetings would be open to the public, as the party was people-oriented.
He said these engagement meetings would begin with its structures in Europe then proceed to local structures and then to the party structures in South Africa.
“The indabas, together with provincial and district conferences that will be taking off soon with Matabeleland North having commenced the process, will make up the preparations for congress next year.
“We feel district and provincial conferences may not be sufficient for our congress to successfully address the needs of the mother party, as we have been through episodes of serious troubles and as the leaders, we acknowledge the need for a collective effort with the people. The people, who are owners of the revolutionary project that is ZAPU in coming up with solutions and a way forward,” Maphosa explained.
He noted it was important that an agenda of renewal and rebranding be discussed ahead of ZAPU’s crucial elective congress.
“So there’s no better way of doing this but listening to the stockholders of the party and implement what they instruct us to do. ZAPU remains the peoples’ party and this exercise is confirmation that it is not captured by any other forces, such as those we witness somewhere in the country,” jibed the ZAPU spokesperson.
As the party prepares for the congress, reports indicate that ZAPU has resolved to rebrand and pave way for younger leadership.
This would be the third elective congress since ZAPU pulled out of the Unity Accord with Zanu PF in 2009.
But observers say it remains to be seen how the party would implement such a resolution, as some have observed that the old guard is trying to keep the values of nationalism against the perceived regionalism approach of the young members of the party.
In 2015 ZAPU was forced to postpone its congress to 2016 due to lack of funding.
The party has blamed the government for waging economic warfare on its party by grabbing its ZIPRA properties seized in the early 1980s by former president Robert Mugabe’s administration.