ZAPU: Storm brewing over Dabengwa replacement

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Bulawayo Correspondent

A SUCCESSION storm is brewing within late former Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa’s party with hardly a month since the struggle icon died.

Acting leader Isaac Mabuka told weekend that the party is still to consider on whether to go for an extra-ordinary congress to find a Dabengwa replacement or simply wait for its elective congress next year.

A party faction led by party Secretary General Strike Mkandla is pushing for an instant extra-ordinary congress.

“Our party’s National People Council will meet on Saturday, the 22nd of June,” Mabuka said.

“The NPC will decide on whether we should go for an extra-ordinary congress to elect a new leader or we wait for our constitutional congress which was set for next year.

“We are a democratic party and it is the people who will decide what route to take.”

A party official who preferred anonymity said Mkandla was already pushing for an extra ordinary congress to replace the late national hero.

“The Mkandla led faction is arguing that the party must follow the constitution and is even producing some funds for the extra-ordinary congress to elect a new president.

“The funding issue is the one that has raised emotions within the party as other members are sceptical about the source of the funds. They have demanded that the source be declared before they can agree to use them,” said the official.

Mkandla is seen as harbouring ambitions to lead the opposition party.

The official said that another faction comprising mainly of youths and war veterans wants the acting president to finish Dabengwa’s term.

“Mabuka’s faction is arguing that the party has no resources to hold two congresses within one year. They are also arguing that it is senseless to have a president today who will be challenged in less than a year of assuming office.

“This group further argues that the party is in no hurry to erase Dabengwa’s legacy and his memories.

“Remember Mabuka was appointed acting president by Dabengwa and allowing him to finish his term is a way of honouring DD (Dumiso Dabengwa),” said the source.

Mkandla could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone was not reachable.