ONE of the only two surviving members of the PF Zapu national executive committee, Aaron Ndhlovu, says the party’s former cadrés jostling for Zanu PF top posts are too junior.
Ndhlovu, who said he was the only surviving member of Zapu’s 25-member national executive with former secretary-general Cephas Msipa, said there were no more senior former Zapu members in Zanu PF.
He said those seeking positions in the presidium should simply be subjected to the ruling party’s guidelines like other party members.
“Zanu PF must be left to do what it wants as a political party without being blackmailed by former Zapu members in the party as they are too junior in the party,” he told Southern Eye in an exclusive interview.
“The only leaders who were in the Zapu national executive that are still alive are Msipa and I.
“When people talk of being former Zapu leaders, it’s a lie. All Zapu leaders are dead, save for me and Msipa, and people must stop bothering themselves who is going to be vice-president or chairperson since it’s all a Zanu thing.”
Ndhlovu said he was not part of the Unity Accord of 1987, claiming that the draft contained too many injustices. He said the agreement that united PF Zapu and Zanu was lopsided and ill-timed because it did not address the issue of many innocent people that had just been killed during the Gukurahundi operation.
Ndhlovu said the accord did not talk of a commission of inquiry to account for those that had been massacred for holding a different political view and there was no form of compensation for families of the deceased.
“The Unity Accord draft had a lot of issues that were not ironed out, but (the late Zapu leader and Vice-President) Joshua Nkomo just wanted us to join,” he said.
“Nkomo said we must join the Unity Accord to avoid further killings and l asked him about those that were already dead. When he did not answer me, I never asked him again. He did not answer that question and that is when l thought of retiring from active politics.
“From that time, l have never participated in any political organisation. The draft of the accord was not fair to our side. For example, PF Zapu was told to bring Patriotic Front while Zanu brought its name.
This made Zapu junior. The accord did not give Zapu enough credit for its role in the armed struggle for liberation and it treated its armed wing, Zipra, as a lightweight in the fight. Zanu wanted to hide and undermine Zapu’s contribution and significance.
“Dumiso Dabengwa asked for a name change since the two parties were joining, but this was ignored.”
Ndhlovu said he was in the then West Germany when the Unity Accord was finalised and he immediately booked a flight back home.
The veteran nationalist bemoaned the prevailing situation in the country saying there was very little difference between pre and post-independent Zimbabwe as the majority blacks continued to bear the brunt of huge unemployment and discrimination from fellow blacks.
“When George Nyandoro died, Nkomo negotiated for his national hero status,” he said.
“When James Chikerema died, he was left with nobody to negotiate for his hero status because Nkomo had died.
We have a lot of people who are real national heroes, but were not declared. For example, we have Aaron Ndabambi who died in 2012, but was not declared a hero. At one time he was president of the Rhodesia African Workers’ Union with Nkomo as his secretary then.
“But when Edgar Tegere died, he was declared a hero because he was with them despite him forming his own party,” said Ndhlovu.
He said whatever Zapu proposed was rejected by Zanu as it had contempt for the party, but Nkomo forced people to join the Unity Accord.
Ndhlovu said some joined Zanu PF in solidarity with Nkomo and not because of Zapu’s ideologies.