Zapu officials have admitted that their party is battling factionalism and urged supporters to unite ahead of general elections which President Robert Mugabe wants held this year.
Isaac Mabuka, the Zapu national people’s council chairman, made the admission on Saturday during the official opening of the party’s Bulawayo provincial offices.
“Be united and shun factionalism,” he said.
“Yes, opinions and views differ, but that must not lead to factions which will disturb the party during the elections.
“We are faced with a crucial period and if we are not united we will not make it.”
Earlier on, Zapu’s Bulawayo provincial secretary Melusi Malaba had alluded to the emergence of factionalism in the Dumiso Dabengwa-led party.
“We have challenges we are fighting, which are resources constraints and without hiding, there are factions here which we need to address,” he said.
“They are disturbing us in the process of strengthening the party. We must stop these factions,” said Malaba without giving further details.
“There is nothing painful like seeing a party member publicised to have defected to another party.
“That shows people the party is falling. We must always prevent that.
“The problem we have here is that we want to belong to a person instead of the party and that is what creates factions.”
Zapu’s southern region chairman Ray Ncube said the new offices were not a venue “for fighting and sleeping but to conduct party business”.
Mabuka further challenged Zapu members to learn to forgive each other, saying failure to do so would cost the party votes and members.
Zapu has indicated its readiness to field candidates in all contested seats in the polls.