Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) members have donated 15 head of cattle and an undisclosed amount of money to offset the party’s office rent arrears, an official has confirmed.
Sources in the party told NewsDay yesterday that during the week, the party’s president Dumiso Dabengwa addressed members at the regional headquarters in Bulawayo and explained the situation.
“Dabengwa addressed members during the week on Wednesday and told them that the situation was bad,” the source said.
“There was an eviction order hanging over the party and something needed to be done. Members decided to donate cattle.”
In March this year, news broke out that the revived Zapu had fallen on hard times, failing to settle a $10 000 rent debt, which forced landlords to issue an eviction notice.
Sources said Zapu was given a seven-day notice by the owners of the building after defaulting for months on rentals.
At the time, party spokesperson Methuseli Moyo confirmed Zapu was facing eviction from its headquarters in central Bulawayo.
In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Zapu secretary for communication Mark Mbaiwa confirmed the development.
“We have received 15 cattle. It was not only cattle, but also money,” he said.
“I cannot, however, disclose the amount of money raised, but it’s a substantial amount.
“The issue of rent is now water under the bridge,” he said, adding that the cattle would be sold to settle the outstanding rent bill.
“The cattle are from ordinary party members who were making these contributions as individuals.
“We have decided that we will not only do this as a once-off thing but it will be ongoing,” said Moyo.
In April, Zapu introduced new membership cards that compel members to pay a monthly subscription of a dollar to raise funds for operations.
At the time, Moyo told NewsDay that the party wanted to come up with an effective way of collecting the subscriptions to be channelled towards administration and overhead costs.
“The idea is to fund the day-to-day running of the party and pay for water and electricity,” Moyo said then.
“Zapu is a self-sponsoring party.
“We are unlike other parties that get trunkloads of cash wherever they get it.
“Zapu is a long-term project and we want to teach our membership to look after the party.”