ZAPU president, Dumiso Dabengwa (pictured) has been endorsed as the opposition party’s presidential candidate, days after cutting ties with the Coalition of Democrats (Code) – a coalition of opposition parties.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zapu spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa said the party had resolved to go it alone in the upcoming elections, subject to it cutting an election pact with other opposition parties and opposition party alliances.
Asked whether the party‘s president, Dabengwa will contest the presidential elections, Maphosa confirmed that the former Zipra intelligence supremo will contest President Emmerson Mnangagwa for the lofty post.
“Now that we are contesting as Zapu, it comes naturally that our president contests for the highest office. He has been informed of that decision and he is our presidential candidate,” Maphosa said.
Dabengwa becomes one of the many countless presidential candidates eyeing a post once held for the past 37 years by former President Robert Mugabe. There are currently has over 100 opposition political parties.
The MDC Alliance and PRC have chosen Nelson Chamisa and former Vice President Joice Mujuru, respectively, as their presidential candidates.
Maphosa added: “We are, however, still open to co-operation with opposition parties so that we will not contest each other in constituencies.
“We are open to negotiations with other parties on parliamentary candidates but as for the presidential candidate Dabengwa is our candidate. He is the missing link for that transition to normalcy and good governance Zimbabwe needs at the moment.”
Analysts have argued on the need for opposition parties to form a grand coalition to unseat Zanu PF.
Code brings together opposition parties such as Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and other fringe political parties that are not part of the MDC Alliance and the People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC).
Dabengwa said Zapu felt Code was betraying its liberation war ideals, while also alleging that the former liberation movement was failing to market the project to its members.