POLICE in Bulawayo on Sunday arrested and briefly detained three Zapu youths following violent clashes among party members during a provincial rally held at Magwegwe Hall.
Report by Blondie Ndebele Own correspondent
The three, who included the party’s youth director Samuel Ngozo, secretary for security Mthulisi Mpofu and Mehluli Moyo from Matabeleland South, were arrested after they threatened to disrupt the meeting describing it as illegal.
The Zapu activists were arrested by riot police and taken to Magwegwe Police Station where they were detained for nearly five hours before they were released without charge.
Ngozo accused organisers of the rally of defying the party’s constitution and protocol. Of late, Zapu has been hard hit by divisions within its top echelons with other party leaders calling for party leader Dumiso Dabengwa and his executive to step down.
“They cannot call people from other regions without my knowledge,” Ngozo said.
“We were told the meeting was not for us yet we are part of the youth front. They must desist from using the party name in their meetings.” However, Bulawayo provincial youth spokesperson Mbonisi Gumbo dismissed allegations that the rally was meant to split the party.
“It is not true that the meeting was organised to remove the president. We have no intentions of splitting the party in any way,” he said.
“Our party has problems and our idea was to come up with resolutions to reunite for elections.”
But the activists yesterday maintained that the rally had been organised unconstitutionally and accused Gumbo of seeking to form parallel party structures.
“They want to form another Zapu inside Zapu.
“How can a meeting be organised when the leaders don’t know about it?” said Mpofu who claimed to be the acting youth spokesperson following Gumbo’s demotion to an ordinary committee member.
Mpofu accused Gumbo of sympathising with the expelled Bulawayo provincial chairman Ray Ncube and youth leader Mqondisi Moyo.
But Gumbo maintained they had informed everyone about the rally.