ZAPU vice-president Emilia Mukaratirwa has quit the opposition party and active politics to pursue private businesses, Southern Eye has learnt.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA/PAIDAMOYO MuZULU
Mukaratirwa’s departure comes at a time the Dumiso Dabengwa-led party has been hit by a spate of resignations and funding challenges, which have stalled preparations for its long-awaited elective congress.
Impeccable sources said Mukaratirwa met the Zapu top brass in Bulawayo last week, where she dropped the bombshell.
“She has left the party. Mukaratirwa, as we understand, is going into business and leaving politics, at least for now, to concentrate on private issues,” an insider said.
Zapu altenate secretary-general, Strike Mnkandla confirmed Mukaratirwa’s departure.
In a statement yesterday, Mnkandla said: “Mukaratirwa took the drastic step because she had planned not to stand at the party congress, which was planned for 2015 after the completion of the term of the national executive committee elected in 2010. Now that the congress could not be held for logistical reasons, she felt she should not continue beyond the term limit, as she had long decided that her personal circumstances could not be combined with continued responsibility.
She turned down requests from the party leadership to postpone her departure until the holding of the party congress that has to take place in the next few months.”
Mukaratirwa was elected Dabengwa’s deputy at the first national congress after the withdrawal from Zanu PF in 2008.
The Zapu leadership then accused Zanu PF leader President Robert Mugabe of breaching provisions of the 1987 Unity Accord and refusing to publicly apologise for the Gukurahundi massacres and organise compensation for the victims.
About 20 000 people, mostly Ndebele-speaking villagers from Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, were killed by the Fifth Brigade under the guise of stemming banditry in the region.