ZAPU yesterday said President Robert Mugabe has to fulfil a number of conditions if he entertains hopes of reuniting with the party.
The Dumiso Dabengwa-led party issued a comprehensive response to a plea made on December 22 by Mugabe for Zapu members who defected in 2008 to “return home”, dismissing the veteran ruler as insincere.
Dabengwa, a former politburo member, led a group of top officials who pulled out of Zanu PF citing unfulfilled promises made in the 1987 Unity Accord.
The statement signed by the Zapu presidency appeared to be shutting the door on Mugabe, saying his party failed to take advantage of the agreement to correct past mistakes.
“There was hope that the 1987 Accord would, therefore, be followed by a process of apologising, peace-building and true reconciliation based on accountability for violation of individual freedoms and personal security as well as restitution for alienated properties,” Zapu said.
“The saddest example of a missed opportunity to provide a ‘peace dividend’ is that in spite of efforts by leaders of Zapu inside the ruling Zanu PF there was no resolution to the return of properties summarily grabbed from a holding company, Nitram (Pvt) Ltd combining Zapu properties and properties bought from contributions by Zipra cadrés largely from their demobilisation payments.
“Thirty years after these properties were grabbed, they have yet to be returned.
“Consequently, many comrades who had expected livelihoods from them have either died in poverty or are living a miserable existence in their old age.”
The properties that were seized soon after independence included buildings in Bulawayo, farms and motels.
Zipra fighters had been encouraged by late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo to invest some of their money from demobilisation payments in Nitram.
“Many families would also have had the benefit of this far-sighted planning of Nkomo who believed ardently in hard work and self-reliance,” Zapu said.
“The case of Zapu and Zipra records confiscated in the early 1980s is another issue that could have been settled easily because these were important for chronicling the prosecution and evolution of the struggle for independence and the politics of our liberation movement as a whole.
“The country is poorer in its collective memory for absence of this documentary record.
“Needless to say, there may be some who wanted to expunge (as evidenced in distorted history by some writers) or downplay Zapu’s contribution to Zimbabwe’s liberation, but our share of this country’s history is sufficiently etched in folk memory.
“This is enough reason for maintaining a distinct identity because immediate gratification is not part of our make-up.”
The party said there were also a number of its members who had no attachment to Zanu PF, and any attempt to reunite with the ruling party would be a betrayal.