The race to replace late national hero Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, as president of opposition political party, ZAPU, is heating up with some members reportedly blocking moves to outsource a new party president, CITE has established.
Party members were reportedly left fuming after it emerged that there were manoeuvres to rope in some political players who were not card-carrying members in the revolutionary party to carry over the reins.
“A lot of names have been thrown around, including, surprisingly to us, some who are not even members of ZAPU. We need to assure the members and public that we are not short of leaders in the party and also that we already have identified leaders who will take over at the next congress, ” ZAPU national spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa told CITE.
Instead, Maphosa said the party was seized with the process of deploying members correctly, and from that process, their president will emerge.
“It is imperative to set the record straight and inform would-be contenders for positions that they can only be members of ZAPU to be able to lead the mother party.
“We have well to do members, who have been with the party throughout its hectic and smooth phases. These are cadres prepared and capable of keeping the torch on as we move forward following the demise of our president, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, ” noted the spokesperson.
Maphosa ruled out the possibilities of the party searching for a leader outside its party confines.
“There is no way, I repeat, no way we will ever go outside of our existing structures and membership to headhunt or outsource a leader. We are not a mickey mouse organisation. Neither are we a corporate organisation in need of a CEO, we are a democratic revolutionary movement whose leadership is informed by our ideology and subscription to it,” he said.
“We will not expose our ideological programme by having those who saw it fashionable to belong to other parties when ZAPU was passing through the desert. They chose comfort in established and western funded parties and we cannot pull them out to come and perch over the comrades who have chosen to suffer with the party till this day. ”
Among the names that have been touted by ZAPU supporters and members are Dr Strike Mkandla, Future Msebele, Felix Silundika and Ralph Mguni.
New names that have emerged are Mark Mbayiwa – treasurer general in the party, Emelia Mkaratirwa -former Vice President and Maphosa himself.
The younger candidates have an advantage to be chosen leader owing to the renewal and rebranding agenda, the revolutionary party has embarked on since last year.
However, Maphosa was quick to assure the older members of the party that “ZAPU is assembling a team for deployment post congress and not necessarily hunting for a young president.”
The party spokesperson said the team would be a “mixture of experience and fresh blood,” in a process that will facilitate a smooth transition to youthful leadership at the appropriate time.