ZAPU interim leader Dumiso Dabengwa has closed ranks with founding party officials after lifting suspension on three members who were axed due to intra-party clashes, as he focuses on strengthening the party ahead of its August congress.
Lazarus Ray Ncube, Charles Makhuya and Nhlanhla Ncube were accepted back into the party this week while Charles Mpofu and Smile Dube were suspended for a further six months.
The Zapu officials were suspended earlier this year for bringing the party into disrepute and speaking to the press without clearance from the party leadership.
The suspended members were also charged with driving a wave of intra-party violence that rocked Zapu last year. Zapu was formed from the ashes of the late vice president and one of Zimbabwe’s founders, Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.
Zapu spokesman Methuseli Moyo confirmed that the three officials were back in the party and would take part in next month’s congress. The congress is expected to elect a new leadership with Dabengwa tipped to remain president.
“Lazarus Ncube, Makhuya and Ncube were found not guilty and are free to participate in party programmes. However, Charles Mpofu and Smile Dube were found guilty and remain suspended for a further six months,” the Zapu spokesman said. Moyo said the sixth suspended member, Evans Ndebele, failed to show up for the disciplinary hearing, arguing he would have his case dealt with by the Midlands province leadership. Dabengwa, Zapu sources said, lifted the suspension on the trio because of
their influence in the Matabeleland region.
Their return, sources said, would bolster the former liberation war intelligence supremo’s support at the August congress. Moyo said although dates were yet to be finalised, Bulawayo would host the congress set to be attended by delegates from the party’s 14 provinces.
Zapu has 10 local provinces as well as four from the Diaspora — United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and the United States.
The congress will be held under the theme: “Freedom of Democracy Through Devolution.” The theme is in line with Zapu’s lobby for the devolution of power in the new constitution. “The congress will look at electing a substantive party leadership, that is the president, chairman and other party leaders.”said Moyo.