BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
ZAPU has claimed that Zanu PF’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu did not voluntarily join the ruling party but was forced to do so to avoid prosecution over alleged stolen funds.
The opposition party was responding to claims by Mpofu that the late Father Zimbabwe and former Zapu leader Joshua Nkomo sold out during the Lancaster House talks.
In an opinion piece recently published by a local weekly Mpofu claimed Nkomo betrayed Zapu’s military wing, Zipra and its commanders and went into the talks with the Rhodesian government against advice.
This is because, according to Mpofu, Nkomo’s participation was ‘largely driven by misleading advice he received from the whites.’
Zapu in a stinging attack on Mpofu sensationally claimed that he never voluntarily joined Zanu PF but only did so to seek protection for fraud crimes.
“Mpofu, in the first, has no authority to talk about Zapu and ZPRA, because he did not have any strategic role in the conduct of the armed struggle.
He was a very junior rank and file soldier in the reconnaissance team before he went to India for training,” Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said.
“This is a man who, when he returned from India, joined the customs services department under the Ministry of Finance, where Enos Nkala was Minister.
“Then monies went missing with all evidence pointing at him and Enos Nkala, gave him an alternative to either join Zanu PF openly or face prosecution.”
Mpofu, a former Zapu cadre, who defected to Zanu before the 1987 Unity Accord that created Zanu PF, when contacted for comment by Sunday Southern Eye on Friday dismissed the claims as ‘nonsensical.’
“That’s nonsensical. I don’t respond to such nonsense. They are trying to seek relevance,” Mpofu said before switching off his mobile phone.
According to a 2010 profile written by John V Austin, a former director at the Harare customs and excise department, Mpofu’s stint at the customs department, which he joined as a prefect in 1982 was questionable.
“…In hindsight, there is no doubt in my mind now that Mpofu’s time in the customs cepartment had nothing to do with grooming for a fast-track Customs career, but everything to do with a tour of duty under a subversive scheme of cadre deployment,” reads in part Austin’s profile of Mpofu which also exposes his close links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, dating back to the 1980s’.