By Bulawayo Correspondent
ZAPU is headed for a split following the party’s on-going provincial congresses which have exposed deep seated divisions.
The party is currently holding its provincial congresses ahead of the party’s elective congress which will be held from the October 29 and 30 at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre.
Sibangilizwe Nkomo, the son of the party’s late founding leader Joshua Nkomo, is the leading contender for the party’s presidency after having been controversially nominated by nine provinces.
On Saturday, Bulawayo province nominated Nkomo to contest the party’s top post amid allegations of vote buying and manipulation of the party’s constitution.
According to party sources, disgruntled delegates from Bulawayo South boycotted the Bulawayo congress citing irregularities in the manner the elections were being conducted.
“The elections where Nkomo is purported to have been nominated in Bulawayo was a circus. How can we have known Zanu PF supporters in their full regalia voting at a Zapu congress. The culture of voting manipulation and vote buying is alien to Zapu,” one of the party’s top post contenders who refused to be named said.
The source said the congress preparations were in shambolic and it will be almost impossible to meet the congress deadline.
New Zimbabwe.com was also told that the party’s Harare provincial executive Sunday boycotted the provincial congress due to similar reasons.
“In line with the party’s Constitution, the Harare congress was not sanctioned by the national executive, neither was it prepared and presided over by Harare provincial executive and provincial chairman respectively. Instead, an unknown character who have been referring himself as provincial coordinator presided over the fraud,”
“We do not have this position in Zapu,” said another source.
The sources said some disgruntled party members have petitioned the party’s national executive to address the cited anomalies
“The so-called provincial conferences together with all its outcomes stand null, void and dismissed with the contempt they deserve. Bulawayo South, where acting President (Issac) Mabuka hails from, also cite similar reasons as Harare that they could not participate in a blatant fraud and capture of the party,” said the source.
The sources further warned that the party might be forced to split if the concerns of the disgruntled supporters and contenders were not addressed.
“Definitely if the people’s concerns are not addressed, the congress will be boycotted and the whole process will be a charade. What we want is a legitimate process which will lead to legitimate leadership unlike what is currently happening,” warned the source.
When reached for comment, the party’s spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa confirmed that Bulawayo South was absent at Bulawayo conference and that the party’s
Harare executive had also raised concerns and grievances on their conference.
“Actually, it is true that Bulawayo South delegates boycotted the Bulawayo conference. In Harare there were also issues to do with the conference. We will only be able to issue a statement after getting formal reports from our Secretariat,” said Maphosa.