ZAPU has taken a swipe at its former members who remained in Zanu PF when the party pulled out of the ruling party in 2009.
PF Zapu led by the now late Joshua Nkomo signed the unity agreement with Zanu which was then led by late State president Robert Mugabe, in 1987, to form what then became Zanu PF.
The agreement also halted the Gukurahundi atrocities in which an estimated 20 000 mostly Ndebele civilians were butchered by the North Korean trained Fifth Brigade.
When ZAPU broke away from Zanu PF, some ex-ZPRA and ZAPU members remained in the ruling party with some assuming key government positions.
Addressing mourners at the funeral service of ZAPU national chairperson, Mark Nzula Mbayiwa, Wednesday in Bulawayo, the party’s Secretary-General, Mthulisi Hanana said they could not understand why some members had chosen to stay in Zanu PF yet the ruling party has brought ruin to Zimbabwe.
“Mbayiwa was one of the few courageous ex-ZPRA cadres who left earlier, even before ZAPU did so. He left and contested as an independent candidate in Nyamandlovu. It takes a few brave men to break ranks with the government but a lot have become cowards,” he stated.
“We don’t know what has happened because you hear them say we are fighting from within, yet they will be lying to us, while they are eating and enjoying at the expense of fellow cadres they went to war with. Many in ZPRA are not vetted, they don’t receive anything from the state. The ZPRA and ZAPU history is too heavy for them, that’s why they are not here at Mbayiwa’s funeral.”
Hanana said the youths could not understand why veterans of the struggle and pioneers of the liberation struggle were ignored yet “those who stayed behind in Zanu PF are just relaxing.”
“I cannot understand how after fighting for Zimbabwe so well and so hard, the country that you fought for rejects you, we don’t see your history. You went to war to give birth to a country with high unemployment and corruption, that’s why ZAPU left Zanu PF,” he stated, indicating those ex- ZPRA cadres in Zanu PF were not representing anyone but themselves.
“You hear them say, ‘we were left behind by Joshua Nkomo.’ I then ask that why would Nkomo leave you there, if he didn’t even leave his child, Sibangilizwe there.”
The SG questioned what was in Zanu PF, that kept some former ZPRA officials stuck there.
“It’s recorded that Nkomo also said ‘even if we enter into this agreement, you can still walk out’ because he knew that ZAPU would break away. We have walked out. To those who are still there what are you waiting for?” Hanana asked.
“I remember in my conversation with Mbayiwa, he would say the problem is people don’t want to leave that Zanu PF. Mbayiwa said he was even told that for him to be recognised better, he must join the party and would be given a better position but he chose to be true to his principles and why he went to the struggle. What is happening now in the country is not why you went to war, so what are you waiting for?
Hanana highlighted Zimbabwe needed a breakthrough but lamented there were cowards who were afraid of confronting authorities.
“Our seniors are even afraid of coughing without going to inform Zanu first. It seems like they are now herd boys led by Zanu because they can’t be bold. We don’t know if they are there because it’s about preserving one’s space at the heroes’ acre where they want to be buried,” he said.
“Let’s stop accommodating Zanu, waiting to be granted national hero status and to be buried in Harare. How you are being treated is painful. Some of you wanted to come to Mbayiwa’s funeral, having served together but were denied that. They can’t do anything without permission. We honour those ex-ZPRA and ZAPU members who were bold and decided to speak the truth and stand with the people.”
He also claimed that they were not representing anyone but the “enemy.”
ZAPU member representing Matabeleland North, John Zolani Dlamini, decried how when a call was made to fix the country, some would say “let’s join them, we will fix the country when we are inside.”
“How does it work that when you want to kill a hyena, you have to become a hyena. You don’t have to be a hyena to kill a hyena. You must be a person to kill a hyena. Let’s have ubuntu and fix our country,” he said.
Dlamini added that since some ex-ZPRA were cosy in Zanu PF, they ended up saying ‘ridiculous’ statements, referring to those made recently by Obert Mpofu on Gukurahundi.
“He can’t tell us to keep quiet about Gukurahundi because the killers didn’t come here with caterpillars to construct roads or build industry. They came here carrying guns, bayonets, grenades, matches to kill people, Then you want us to keep quiet,” he noted and urged people to wisely select leaders.
“You are the ones who elect people who are thugs and notorious crooks. We must learn to take responsibility.”
One of the few remaining members of the ZPRA High Command, Thomas Ngwenya, also emphasised that it was ZPRA forces that liberated Zimbabwe but people were lied to.
“Politicians lie, which is why the country is in this situation,” he said.