The Dumiso Dabengwa led Zapu party has embarked on an ideological reorientation programme to instil the party’s values of nationalism on the younger generation members.
The initiative is being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Academy of Excellence, an organisation run by former ZPRA members based in South Africa in conjunction with Umkhonto WeSizwe, the armed wing of South Africa`s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).
Nationalism was one of the main values the late founder of ZAPU, Joshua Nkomo, popularly known as Father Zimbabwe, instilled in the party and country as a whole but over the years, the younger generation feels the concept has failed.
The programme is part of the party`s rebranding exercise as it seeks to pass on the baton of leadership to the younger generation and adapt to the current political environment.
The party, Tuesday, held a workshop for ZPRA cadres titled ‘Tell your story’ at the Blue Lagoon which was owned by the Nkomo family.
The Zimbabwe Academy of Excellence chairperson, Andrew Nyathi, told CITE that the programme is meant to capture individual and personal stories of combatants so that they motivate younger members of the party.
“Fighting for the country has become a party issue, or generational issue instead of an intergenerational issue where everyone has a part to play in building national consciousness,” said Nyathi.
“The aim is to have a vision which links everyone and say this is how we see Zimbabwe in the coming years.”
Nyathi highlighted that polarisation in the political sphere has affected development in the country.
“When the settlers came here, we saw that in 57 years they managed to build Kadoma, Kwekwe, dams, you name it but in our 39 years of self-rule, what have we done? We should not only ask what we have done but question why we have not done it,” he said.
“This is due to leaders in general and this is a problem because there is no commitment to a vision and when a vision is absent, a nation crumbles,” Nyathi noted.
The workshop also meant to resolve some of the emerging issues in the party with regards to the future of the party and the leadership question.
Nyathi noted that the Zimbabwe Academy of Excellence workshop through the told individual experiences of ZPRA combatants would try to reconcile the perceived regionalism and show that nationalism was still the desired ideology.
“The basic idea is to say where is our strength and how can we be able to build our own lives economically, socially, politically under the turmoil that has taken place in the country,” he said.
The party is likely to hold an elective congress next year where the current party president Dr Dabengwa is expected to step down from the post and pave way for a new leader.