DISGRUNTLED Zanu PF rebels yesterday said they will this weekend forge ahead with their convention in Bulawayo to revive PF Zapu with the aim of â€œsettling the countryâ€™s political futureâ€.
The convention comes against a backdrop of alleged moves by Zanu PF in the city to mislead people that it had been postponed.
Spokesperson of the revived PF Zapu, Effort Nkomo, told the Zimbabwe Independent that delegates to the convention would be drawn from the countryâ€™s 10 provinces and that the modalities were in place for the gathering.
â€œWe are going ahead with our plans. There are some mischievous people who have been going around telling people that the convention has been postponed to a later date, but I can confirm that nothing has changed,â€ said Nkomo.
Although he could not provide the estimated number of delegates to the convention, Nkomo said they were expecting to be joined by people from different political parties, ethnic and tribal groupings.
â€œThis is not a regional party. It is a party that has a national outlook so we are expecting a lot of people to attend,â€ Nkomo said. â€œWe are not inviting people on political, ethnic or tribal lines but we are inviting everyone to attend the convention.â€
He said PF Zapu was ready to merge with smaller opposition parties to form a strong force to challenge Zanu PF.
Nkomo said there were multitudes of Zanu PF cadres who have shown interest and are willing to join PF Zapu.
He said: â€œThere are people who are still tied up in the Zanu PF machinery who will attend and I am sure many of them will join us. It is the duty of all those who desire and aspire for peace and prosperity to work together towards the success of the country. That is why we are inviting all those parties who share the same vision with us to join us and move the country forward.â€
Nkomo said the convention would allow free discussion and debate on issues affecting the country.
â€œWe are responding to the wishes and aspirations of the people who called for the revival of the party. The people have been waiting for this moment for a long time, and the time has come and we are not going back,â€ he added.
The convention is expected to come up with an interim structure that would lead the party up until next year when a congress will be held to elect a substantive executive.
Nkomo said they had no apologies or regrets for leaving Zanu PF adding that the current crop of the partyâ€™s leaders had failed to bring meaningful development to the Matabeleland region.
Analysts said, should the convention take place without any hitches, the beleaguered Zanu PF would have been dealt a severe blow as it has been battling to play a balancing act in line with the 1987 Unity Accord.
PF Zapu said it was ready to declare a divorce with Zanu PF under the unity accord because it was a marriage of convenience that has failed to work since it was solemnised in December 1987.
A fortnight ago, Vice-president Joseph Msika was dispatched by Zanu PF to Bulawayo to meet the rebels and try to propitiate them, but the PF Zapu revivalists snubbed him.
The defiant group is accusing Zanu PF of failing to equitably distribute power under the Unity Accord, which was preceded by the bloody Gukurahundi era which claimed more than 20 000 people in Matabeleland and the Midlands.
BY HENRY MHARA