ZAPU leader, Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday reiterated that he will not “go anywhere” until he finishes his term in 2020, following reports of moves to oust him to pave way for secretary-general, Strike Mnkandla.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Dabengwa denied reports of factionalism in Zapu following manoeuvres to oust him from the post, saying unity reigned supreme in the party. He, however, added that contenders to the post were free to campaign to take over — but only in 2020.
The former Home Affairs minister has said he will not contest the party presidency at the expiry of his two terms.
“At the 2016 Congress, the President drew it to the attention of delegates and members that his constitutional two terms expire in 2020, when the party has to choose a new President” Dabengwa said.
He said that members should, therefore, start thinking of leadership change.
“This timely reminder was to ensure that any contenders for the post start preparing themselves for the demanding job,” Dabengwa said reading a prepared speech to journalists during a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday.
Reports indicate that all was not well in Zapu over the leadership of the party, with insiders claiming those opposed to a change of leadership to allow Mnkandla to take-over were being purged to cow others.
Dabengwa, however, said the reports that Mnkandla wanted to take-over ‘insults’ the latter’s intelligence.
“Now the peddlers of factions go further to suggest there is a plot to stop Dabengwa from completing his second term. Such preposterous concoction is an insult to the intelligence of the alleged plotter and an unwelcome distraction that will not be allowed to succeed.
“We have made this statement just to state what our members already know, that is, the leadership of Zapu has been working as a team and is busy following up on the fresh mandate the party gave so recently in the August 2016 Congress,” Dabengwa added.
Meanwhile, the Zapu leader said the Coalition of Democrats (Code) — a grouping of opposition parties — will start having public events to “sell” it to the electorate as an alternative to Zanu PF, which he blamed for ruining the country.
“The coalition is the only one that has gone beyond conjecture and set up a functional, formal structure. It is growing and has the ambition of getting all significant players in the opposition to the ruling Zanu PF that has reduced the country to a sorry state. Code will soon have public events to signal its coming of age,” he said.
Code has, among its members, Welshman Ncube’s MDC, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn and Zimbabwe Union for Democrats (Zunde).