Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa has reportedly ordered his party supporters to put aside their differences and ensure they had a substantive leadership by June 30.
Party sources said Dabengwa on Thursday last week met feuding members of the party’s Matabeleland North and South provinces and cracked the whip at those bent on stalling election of substantive structures at the end of this month.
The two provinces were caught up in a vicious power struggle involving members of the party who were formerly in the Zanu PF structures under the Unity Accord of 1987 and those who refused to be part of the former ruling party.
“Dabengwa held a meeting at Zapu offices in Bulawayo on Thursday last week and summoned Matabeleland South and Bulawayo interim executives and ordered them to allow the holding of elections,” the source said.
The source said the former Home Affairs minister told his party’s interim provincial leadership “in no uncertain terms that they must hold the elections without further delay, to ensure the party was ready for polls”.
The party’s Bulawayo provincial elections have been slated for Saturday.
Zapu national spokesperson Methuseli Moyo confirmed the meeting, but declined to shed more light.
“I did not attend the meeting you are talking about. It was for provinces. I am not sure what exactly was discussed. However, I can confirm that provinces have been instructed to hold elections for substantive executives.
“Midlands and Matabeleland North have completed their exercises and it was very orderly and peaceful. We hope the trend will continue in the remaining provinces. No one should injure anyone in the name of Zapu. That is what makes Zapu different from other parties,” he said.
Meanwhile, fireworks were expected at the party’s provincial polls pitting a former councillor Mike Batandi Mpofu against Costaine Ngwenya, a candidate criticised for being part of Zanu PF structures for the provincial chairmanship post.
Reports indicated the race has become tighter for the Bulawayo provincial chairmanship with ex-Highlanders chairman Roger Muhlwa and war veteran Zakhele Ndebele joining the fray.
Ndebele confirmed to NewsDay he was in the race for the provincial chairperson’s post, but Muhlwa would neither deny nor confirm his candidature.