THE opposition Zapu and Barbara Nyagomo’s Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) have merged into one political party under Dumiso Dabengwa.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The Southern Eye was told all PDZ structures will now be incorporated into Zapu’s structures, with Nyagomo assuming the deputy presidency.
Lora Makuzva was Zapu vice-president before the merger.
The merger follows reports that Zapu has all but cut ties with Elton Mangoma’s Coalition of Democrats (Code) – a loose coalition of opposition parties such as Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and other fringe political parties that were not part of the MDC Alliance and the People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC).
Zapu secretary-general, Strike Mkandla confirmed the merger with Ngagomo’s PDZ.
“PDZ president, Barbara Nyagomo will be the vice-president of the unified Zapu. The most fortunate thing is that our incumbent president, Madam Lora Makuzva had ceased to actively participate in party affairs because of other personal commitments. As a party, we are always ready to welcome her whenever she has sorted out her issues. We will work out a plan for the two to co-exist,” he said.
Mkandla said PDZ officials will not lose their posts as positions equal to their previous posts will be created for them under the new unity deal.
PDZ national organising secretary, Brighton Makocho said his party decided to merge with Zapu because of the two parties’ shared liberation war backgrounds.
“Zapu provides a brand that has continuity with the nationalist movement and the liberation struggle it waged. These credentials have enabled us to join hands with Zapu and work together,” Makocho said.
Makocho said the pact with Zapu is also expected to boost the two parties, bargaining powers in talks with the MDC Alliance and PRC to form the envisaged grand opposition coalition against the ruling Zanu PF.
“There is strength in numbers. As we continue to negotiate for a grand coalition with other political parties, we believe that the merger will strengthen our position at the negotiating table,” he added.