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Recalls debate divides Zapu

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

The opposition Zapu leadership has dropped plans to recall former party members in Parliament on a Zanu PF ticket, a move that has driven a wedge between the old guard and the young in the party, it has emerged.

MDC-T has since last year been controversially allowed to recall legislators and councillors elected under the MDC Alliance banner.

Early this month, Zapu contemplated its own recalls as confirmed by the party’s southern region director of communication Patrick Ndlovu in a recent interview.

“On the issue of recalls, I can confirm our legal team has noted that a precedent has been set following the recent recalls of MDC Alliance MPs,” Ndlovu said at the time.

“We still have some Zapu people purporting to be the party’s members.”

However, acting Zapu president Isaac Mabuka was singing a different tune in an interview with Sunday Southern Eye.

“It has been cancelled,” Mabuka said.

“It was not a leadership proposition, but one that had come from some members of the party.”

If the plan had succeeded,  Simon Khaya Moyo, Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema, minister of State for Bulawayo Judith Ncube and Small and Medium Enterprises minister Sithembiso Nyoni, among other former Zapu MPs, were going to face recalls.

“We have met as the leadership, discussed the matter and resolved not to recommend the recall of anyone in Parliament because as far as we are concerned, Zapu has no members in parliament,” Mabuka added.

“We do not have legislators, who contested the last elections on a Zapu ticket, but later joined Zanu PF.

“As far as we know, we broke away from Zanu PF in 2008 and all those that remained there are not ex-Zapu members, but Zanu PF members.”

However, the move has not gone down well with the young who now accuse the leadership of “selling out”.

“They are old and timid; this decision will be contested because this was a resolution of the party, not what is being said now by a group of men calling themselves leadership,” angry youth leaders said last week.

Already, Zapu is battling factional fights over the upcoming congress with the party now divided along regional and tribal lines.

This has seen Mashonaland Central even going to the extent of passing a vote of no confidence against secretary-general Strike Mnkandla.

Zapu and Zanu signed the Unity Accord in 1987 to ostensibly stop the mass killings of Zapu members and unarmed civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands.

In 2008, the late Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa led a number of former Zapu members like the late Thenjiwe Lesabe in a breakaway from Zanu PF to revive Zapu.

But  the late Robert Mugabe and other ex-Zapu members always chided the pull-out as of no significance, arguing the Unity Accord was irreversible.

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