Zapu cautious on coalitions

ZAPU has ruled out any mergers with other political groupings insisting that it is only prepared to foster an alliance with preconditions that it retain its name.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

PF Zapu merged with Zanu under the 1987 Unity Accord which saw it being swallowed and forfeiting its name.

The Zapu leadership told Southern Eye on Sunday that it had never been approached by Zanu PF for its members to rejoin the party despite President Robert Mugabe’s passionate plea in December last year.

At the unveiling of the late Vice-President Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo statue, Mugabe pleaded with Zapu members who broke away from the Unity Accord to return saying “they make me cry”.

However, Mugabe later denied that he was referring to Zapu members led by Dumiso Dabengwa saying he only made a plea for war veterans to unite and described disunity among the former freedom fighters as an act of dishonesty and infidelity against the revolution and the legacy of Nkomo.

In reference to Mugabe, Zapu national spokesperson Mjobisa Noko said Zapu was not in the habit of responding to “podium grandstanding”.

“As Zapu we don’t believe in responding to someone who just says things from the podium when, in fact, he would be grandstanding. We have not heard any formal approaches from anybody and hence it would be folly for us to legitimise grandstanding statements,” Noko said.

“But in that context as Zapu we have a standing resolution that was made in 2012 where we have pre-conditions to anyone who would want to come aboard to have an alliance or a united front and definitely not a merger.

“In 1961 when Zapu was banned, it was resolved at Cold Comfort Farm that the Zapu name should not be changed in whatever form be it in an alliance or united front. Anyone who comes in must accept the name Zapu,” he said.

Noko added that any suitors must have a clean record of upholding human rights.

He said: “Any organisation or party that wants a united front must also observe human rights. This is a cog of Zapu ideology. If you do not observe human rights why would we waste our time taking to you?”

Asked on whether the Zapu-MDC alliance forged in the run-up to last year’s July elections still existed, Noko could not be drawn into commenting on it.

“It would be folly for me to say that. It depends on what the other side is standing for today and where they are today. I would not say it has fallen off. It depends on activities from both sides.”

He said Zapu was also prepared to work with any party that spearheaded devolution of power.

The MDC and Zapu united front coalition agreed that in any constituency and ward where one party had not fielded a candidate, each party would mobilise its members and supporters to vote for the other party’s candidate.

The two parties also agreed that they would not discuss or enter into any pact with any other party other than with each other.

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