INTERNAL squabbles within the Dumiso Dabengwa-led Zapu have taken a new twist with secretary-general Strike Mnkandla accused of pushing a controversial decision to move offices of the opposition party to his house.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Mnkandla is reportedly angling for the party presidency, a post currently held by the former Home Affairs minister.
Insiders allege that Mnkandla’s backers has taken advantage of the party’s failure to pay rentals in the central business district (CBD) to propose that instead they be housed at his Riverside house.
Those opposed to the move see this as an attempt to stage an “in-house” coup against Dabengwa.
“The SG saw a window of opportunity in the party being evicted as he would effectively collapse all other party departments, while he and a few if his secretariat staff would appear functionally effective while operating from his house,” a party insider said on condition of anonymity.
Insiders said at one point, the Zapu staff were forced to relocate to Mnkandla’s house after their eviction over non-payment of rent, but the move was quickly reversed.
Mnkandla refused to comment on the matter yesterday, referring Southern Eye to Retired Colonel Mark Mbaiwa, Zapu’s southern region coordinator.
“Talk to Mbaiwa. He will tell you everything about the proposals for party offices and so forth,” Mnkandla said in a telephone interview.
Mbaiwa confirmed there was a proposal to relocate the party’s offices from the CBD to Mnkandla’s house, but said the offer would not be taken up.
“We are moving into new offices this Friday [tomorrow] at the latest. The party, just like everybody else across the country, is affected by the economy to assist us. However, be the case, you cannot have an office far away from town when the majority are coming the high-density areas.
“It is ideal in terms saving costs, but we would have lost touch with the people, it was going to be difficult for the mobilisation of the party,” Mbaiwa said.
Dabengwa recently denied reports of factionalism in Zapu following manoeuvres to oust him from the post before the expiry of his term in 2020. The former Home Affairs minister said he would step down at the party congress in 2020 and would contest for re-election.