South Africa’s ruling ANC has “snubbed” Zanu PF, but invited Zapu and MDC parties to its centenary celebrations this weekend.
By yesterday, Zanu PF senior officials said they were unaware if their party had also been invited to the high-profile event.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said: “I am not sure whether there is such an invite. It’s best you ask (party secretary for administration Didymus) Mutasa.”Mutasa, who indicated he was at his Rusape rural home, said he was not “in the picture on party activities”.
This comes hardly a month after Zanu PF invited all regional former liberation movements — including the ANC — to its 12th annual national people’s conference in Bulawayo in December.
The former sole ruling party has tried to downplay the revival of Zapu, saying it was only a few disgruntled officials who pulled out of the 1987 unity government.
MDC-T national chairperson and Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo yesterday said he would lead a party delegation to the centenary celebrations.
“I have been invited in my capacity as MDC-T national chairman,” he said. But it is the Zapu invitation that could be another endorsement of the revived Zapu by Africa’s oldest liberation movement.Zapu spokesperson Methuseli Moyo yesterday said party leader Dumiso Dabengwa would lead the delegation to South Africa.
“South Africa’s ruling party and authentic liberation movement, the ANC, has invited Zapu, Zimbabwe’s founder and authentic liberation movement, to its 100th birthday celebrations to be held in Bloemfontein this weekend,” Moyo said.
The festivities are scheduled for Bloemfontein, where the ANC was founded in 1912.The Zapu-ANC alliance was established in the mid to late 1960s.
The ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, shared trenches with fighters from Zapu’s military wing, Zipra, during the liberation war.
According to media reports in South Africa, the guest list has not been made public, but the party has said it invited comrades that helped its struggle against white minority rule.
Moyo said his party was delighted that “our sister liberation movement and real comrade-in-arms, the ANC, invited us to their celebrations”.
“It is such groundbreaking developments that prove that relations between Zapu and ANC, cemented by blood during the liberation struggle, shall live forever,” he said.Zapu celebrated its 50th anniversary last month at Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium.
In 2009, South African President Jacob Zuma invited the Zapu leadership to his homecoming celebrations at his rural home, Nkandla, after winning the Presidency.