COVID-19 stalls Zapu congress preps

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA

THE opposition Zapu party’s plans to restructure early this year have been derailed due to the 30-day lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zapu had targeted to start its restructuring exercise this month ahead of the party’s elective congress slated for April.

The congress is expected to replace the party‘s late leader Dumiso Dabengwa, who died on May 23, 2019 in Kenya en-route to Zimbabwe after undergoing treatment in India.

The congress is expected to usher in new leadership in the party.

Zapu secretary-general Strike Mkandla said the lockdown would affect the party’s restructuring programme ahead of the congress.

“The COVID-19 lockdown affects our ongoing restructuring of branches and districts, which was supposed to be completed this month before the congress in April,” Mkandla said.

“The party leadership will explore other options in order to comply with the April 15, 2021 congress deadline. We will advise members accordingly. Practical and material requirements will all be examined and considered by the concerned structures.”

Mkandla said the party leadership should ensure that the congress takes place in April to avoid stagnation and indefinite postponement.

He urged the party members to comply with the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

The Zapu congress was postponed on several occasions due to the COVID-19 lockdown
restrictions.

Mkandla, the party treasurer-general Mark Mbaiwa and the party spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa are aspiring to replace Dabengwa as president.

Prominent Bulawayo transport mogul, Matthew Sibanda is also said to be interested in the Zapu presidency.

However, the current acting president Isaac Mabuka will not be contesting.

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