BY SIBONGINKOSI MAPHOSA
AGEING Zapu leaders are facing a stiff challenge from youthful members, who want to take charge of the party at its 2020 elective congress.
The party’s deputy national secretary for international relations, Future Msebele revealed last week that the party has major renewal plans as it repositions itself ahead of the 2023 elections and as part of the exercise, party leaders who are above 60 years should step down.
Msebele, who has held numerous posts in Zapu that include youth secretary-general, said from his Johannesburg base the party needs rebranding.
“Branding and rebranding is increasingly being used in non-traditional, social markets such as politics, and Zapu being a political party cannot be spared,” he said.
“The view that political parties should be analysed as brands is not universally held. Some hold a view that if rebranding has been applied in the political market, it might produce unwanted effects such as narrowing the political agenda, increasing confrontation, demanding conformity of behaviour and increasing political disengagement from those who do not subscribe to the view of the brand.”
Msebele said Zapu and its supporters should gear for a political evolution.
“Those who subscribe to this view propose that the party should be allowed to evolve over a period of time. The proponents of evolution process believe, however, that the ‘centre should hold’ throughout the process and that the party processes should be monitored as the party gradually goes through a policy of ideological evolution,” he added.
Msebele urged leaders who are above 60 years to step down for fresh blood and serve in the council of elders.
“It would be of great value that our comrades who have reached the age of 60 years serve in the council of elders. This is the judiciary organ of our party, a lot of wisdom is required in interpreting our constitution and problem solving,” he said.
Msebele did not hide his aspirations to run for the Zapu presidency saying some members were backing him.
“I have been approached by some comrades about running for presidency. I am equally considering that, I am consulting and praying about it,” the Zapu deputy national secretary for international relations said.
Zapu was for years led by former Zipra intelligence supremo Dumiso “Black Russian” Dabengwa, who died in May this year and currently, the party is being led by Isaac Mabuka on an interim basis.