ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday scoffed at claims that more than 200 members of his party have rejoined Zanu PF, saying those paraded as leaders were no longer active in party structures.
Zanu PF paraded two former Zapu officials — Tryphine Nhliziyo and Effort Nkomo — who claimed to have dumped the Dabengwa-led party at a function at Amakhosi Theatre on Sunday.
According to reports the two said they had left Zapu because theywere misled into dumping Zanu PF.
Nhliziyo said she did not “benefit” anything from joining Zapu and was disillusioned by lack of leadership. Dabengwa said the reports were exaggerated and dismissed Nkomo and Nhliziyo as opportunists.
He charged that the two had joined Zapu with wrong motives “thinking that they would do whatever they wanted to do at the expense of the party’s name”.
“I only know two people who left in 2010,” he said.
“If there are any other people who have left the party and joined Zanu PF we would need a full list of their names before people spread wrong falsehoods that are unfounded.”
Zapu alternate secretary-general Strike Mnkandla said those who wanted to join Zanu PF
had a democratic right to do so but dismissed Nkomo and Nhliziyo’s claims as unfounded.
“This description is inaccurate because the two people in question have not been active members of Zapu for a while, let alone occupying leadership at any level,” he said.
“On 20 February 2012, Nkomo wrote to request that he be excused from his role in the National People’s Council because he was being offered an appointment to run a national charitable foundation. We are also aware that he was roped into a State-run environment trust.
In the case of Nhliziyo, she lost her position in the party and had been low-key since 2010 because according to the report(s) she claims she was “despised” after doing good work for the party’s revival.
“Most crucially (in our view) she indicates that in the end they “got nothing,” he added.
Mnkandla said among defectors were a former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative whose presence in Zapu always raised eyebrows.
“This individual’s case is significant because he joined our party from Zanu PF after retiring from the CIO,” he said.
“There are many who were not convinced that this gentleman had genuinely outgrown his background and was not fishing around for trouble.
“If the anonymous list contains more characters of that sort, it will even be less representative of our party membership.”
Mnkandla said the party, which pulled out of the Unity Accord with Zanu PF in 2008, would not be distracted by the propaganda.