AS Zanu PF primary elections beckon countrywide, almost the entire senior former Zapu leadership has opted out of the race to represent the party in parliament next year.
About three-quarters of the former Zapu leadership that stood on a Zanu PF ticket in the last parliamentary elections before being routed by the opposition MDC in 2000, have either opted out of the race or have not indicated their intention to contest the seats they lost in the previous election.
Zanu PF only won two seats out of a possible 23 in Matabeleland in the 2000 parliamentary election that nearly ended the party’s 20-year grip on power.
Senior Zapu leaders who have announced that they will not contest the primaries and ultimately the parliamentary elections include Simon Khaya Moyo, John Nkomo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Callistus Ndlovu, Angeline Masuku, Cain Mathema, Thenjiwe Lesabe and Vice President Joseph Msika.
Dabengwa two weeks ago said he has retired from active politics and will not contest any positions in the party but will help the party if invited to do so.
A week later Moyo, who is now Zimbabwe’s ambassador in Pretoria, announced that he had no intention of trying to reclaim the Bulilima-Mangwe South seat he lost in 2000. However, other senior former Zapu politicians have not made their intentions clear.
The Zimbabwe Liberators Peace Initiative said the pull-out indicated that they did not enjoy any support in Matabeleland.