Zapu not separatist — Dabengwa

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Zapu is a nationalist party that would not reduce itself to a tribal or separatist movement as advocated by Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF), Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa has said.

Dabengwa said Zimbabwe needed to remain, “united and focused on liberating our country once more from those who have turned us into their captives, before we can think of starting other struggles. Zapu believes Zimbabwe needs a new, democratic system of governance called devolution.”

The Zapu leader said devolution would bring development to the people and remove bottlenecks and red tape created by the current Harare-based centralist governance system.

In a statement on y, Dabengwa distanced himself and Zapu from MLF’s bid for the separation of Matabeleland and Midlands region from the rest of the country.

“It is clear to us that the journalists seem to believe that Zapu is behind, or at least sympathetic to the issue of secession of Matabeleland. This is both false and unfair.

“The people of Zimbabwe understand what Zapu stood and stands for, as evidenced by the positive response from all corners of the country towards the successful revival of our party. Zapu liberated and wants to rule all of Zimbabwe, and not part of it.

“People become masters of their own destiny by controlling and owning their natural resources. Devolution empowers the people to be self-determining.

“Clearly, devolution is not secession and we do not understand why anyone would want to link our party to the MLF or secession,” said Dabengwa.
Dabengwa added Zapu believed in freedom of speech and opinion.

“We call for meaningful dialogue on the issue to address the problem and maintain national cohesion. Arresting and detaining leaders of the MLF or anyone who talks about Gukurahundi and the marginalisation of Matabeleland will only worsen the problem.”

He said his party supported Umthwakazi “on a cultural and social level in order to preserve the culture, language and identity of the various ethnic groups who compose Umthwakazi such as the Kalanga, Nguni, Nambya, Tonga, Venda, Sotho, Xhosa, among others”.

“We need to preserve our richness and diversity as a nation. It was the colonialists who lumped us together and classified us as simply Shona and Ndebele, and set us on each other. There is no incentive for perpetuating this colonial creation.”