THE Friends of Zapu Trust (FoZapu) had to change the venue for a launch of the organisation’s chapter in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday after elements suspected to be members of Zapu disrupted the meeting, it has been learnt.
Report by Blondie Ndebele
In an interview yesterday, FoZapu secretary Mbonisi Gumbo said the launch was supposed to take place at Yeoville Recreation Centre, but they had to move to a local hotel after some people believed to be ex-Zipra combatants threatened to stop it.
“There were some people who tried to stop the meeting,” he said. “A lot of people had come to support us, but the ex-Zipra guys did not want the launch to take place.”
Gumbo said they believed some senior Zapu officials were behind the disruption as the party is on record distancing itself from FoZapu. Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa issued a statement condemning the formation of FoZapu, which he said was an attempt to create parallel structures to his party.
But contacted for comment yesterday, Dabengwa said he did not know anything about the launch of FoZapu in South Africa except what “has been written in papers”.
Zapu alternate secretary-general Strike Mkandla distanced his party from the disturbances.
“All we have done is to clarify that they are doing their own thing and they are not endorsed by Zapu itself,” he said.
“I didn’t even know they were launching anything in South Africa and how could we have stopped them when we don’t have formal links with them.”
FoZapu was formed last month by mainly suspended and expelled members of Zapu.