The late Vice-President Joseph Msika was aware of a plot by ex-Zapu members within Zanu PF to pull out of the “troubled” former ruling party to revive their party and he approved of it well before the actual split, Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa has revealed.
Dabengwa made the disclosure at a campaign rally at Sanzwukwi business centre in Mangwe, where he addressed over 1 500 Zapu supporters at the weekend.
“Those who remembered that we should go back to Zapu approached Msika. It was not me, but a delegation from Bulawayo that went to Harare and met with Msika and pointed out to him that things were not working in Zanu PF and it was time to pull out.
“His (Msika)’s response was that, ‘it is good that you also see it this way’.
“He said he had been observing the whole thing, but had been afraid to be accused of taking things personal,” said Dabengwa.
“Msika told the delegation to go out and organise people so that he (Msika) would come and address them on the pullout.
“A meeting was organsied at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, but when he was just about to go out and address it, he was stopped by the intelligence service.
But he had advised us to effect the pullout and that we should call for a congress. We had a special congress in December 2008, where we resolved to pull out of Zanu PF.
We then had a congress in August 2009, where we were elected to occupy these positions. We were not late, but we had to take every step to make the pullout proper,” he said.
In November 2008, Msika was accused of chickening out of the meeting that was organised on November 1 2008, but had to be called off more than six hours after its scheduled start, with an announcement that he had suddenly fallen ill.
This was despite the fact that staff from his office had spent several hours at the venue preparing for his arrival.
The meeting was attended by Dabengwa — who had by then broken ranks with Zanu PF as he supported Simba Makoni’s presidential bid — the then Information and Publicity minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and other Zanu PF officials.
Former freedom fighters who attended the meeting took turns to address the crowd, calling on PF Zapu to break away from Zanu PF.
On Zapu properties confiscated by the State during the Gukurahundi era, Dabengwa said the party had finished compiling a list of the properties and would soon be taking the legal route to recover them.
“We have made a list of everything that we owned. We own a number of buildings and one of them is being used by the Central Intelligence Organisation, Magnet House, along Main Street in Bulawayo.
We will soon be going to court. If we fail in court, then we are hopeful by that time we would have seized power in an election,” he said.
Msika died in August 2009 after having been unwell for some time.