Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa on Saturday said his party pulled out of Zanu PF because President Robert Mugabe’s party allegedly killed and maimed people in Mashonaland in a “mini-genocide” during the 2008 presidential election run-off.
Dabengwa was addressing his party’s supporters to mark Zapu’s 50th anniversary at Barbourfields Stadium.
He accused Zanu PF of committing crimes against humanity in the run–off campaign of 2008 and said Zapu did not want to be held accountable for the violence.
“We said now it has reached you (genocide) where people were being asked to choose between a short sleeve or long sleeve in reference to the mutilation of their arms,” Dabengwa said.
“It was a mini-genocide there.
“That is the hour in 2008 immediately after the presidential elections when we felt we could no longer be part and parcel of a government which fraudulently won an election using violence, thereby continuing to frustrate the people’s wishes to decide the manner of their governance.
“The continued lawlessness by the government and the disdain for human life — all of which are inimical to Zapu’s principles and values — would have made Zapu complicit in what could be termed crimes against humanity.”
He said his party would never be involved in the shedding of blood of Zimbabweans.
“According to the Zapu way of doing things, we had to consult our leader in the unity arrangement who at that time was the late Cde Joseph Msika about the decision to pull out. His advice was that only a Zapu congress could take the decision about the termination of the untenable and totally unworkable accord,” Dabengwa said.
Zapu held a consultative congress in December 2008, which endorsed the pullout from the 1987 Unity Accord with Zanu PF.
It was followed by a special congress in May 2009 that came up with “with the overwhelming decision that co- existence with Zanu PF was untenable, even abhorrent, considering the party’s total disregard for the sanctity of human life and dignity,” Dabengwa said.
Asked to respond to Dabengwa’s address, Zanu PF deputy secretary for information and publicity, Cain Ginyilitshe Mathema, yesterday scoffed at the allegations.
He challenged Dabengwa to provide evidence of the genocide.
“Where is the evidence? Why didn’t you ask him to provide the evidence?
“He has nothing to offer to the people, why should he want to start his party by making baseless allegations against Zanu PF? In Zanu PF, we don’t do that and we have never done that,” Mathema lashed out.
“Dabengwa has joined the MDC in making baseless allegations against Zanu PF.
“These are parties working for a regime change agenda and pushing Western interests.”
Mathema said Dabengwa never made such allegations while still a Zanu PF politburo member.
“Now that he is no longer a member of the party he is making such allegations,” Mathema said.
“Does it mean the party has changed because he has left? Who does he think he is?
“He has nothing to offer to the people. He
is there to divide the people of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF is a party of Joshua Nkomo and Robert
Zapu signed the Unity Accord after the disturbances, which allegedly saw about 20 000 of its supporters killed in a military campaign now referred to as Gukurahundi.