Zapu executive in double-dipping storm

BY SILAS NKALA

SUSPENDED Zapu organising secretary Derek Katsenga has been accused of being a mole and working with Zanu PF to lure the party into joining the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) initiated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Katsenga was suspended from the opposition party last month over allegations of fanning tribalism and factionalism in Mashonaland Central province.

His suspension comes at a time  when the party is inching towards its watershed elective congress which has been moved from April 30 to August.

Party insiders told Southern Eye that Katsenga had allegedly struck a deal with Zanu PF to ensure that the incoming Zapu leader joins Polad.

“The secret deal was well at an advanced stage and it sent the party leadership into action resulting in immediate suspension of the frontman of the deal (Katsenga),” said a Zapu source.

“Several officials from some provinces had been mobilised into supporting the secret deal with one of them, Edward Chodewa openly attacking the acting party president Isaac Mabuka for allowing the suspension of Katsenga,” the source said.

After Katsenga’s suspension by Zapu secretary-general Strike Mkandla, Chodewa wrote to Mabuka protesting the decision.

But internal sources said the party was well aware that the faction that Katsenga worked with was receiving huge funding from the State in order for it to aid the agenda of a one-party State that Mnangagwa is allegedly pushing for.

Zapu spokesman Iphithule Maphosa could neither confirm nor deny the allegations levelled against Katsenga.

He said the matter had since been referred to the party’s arbitration body.

“We still maintain that any dialogue that could take place must be outside the control and instigation of Zanu PF or Mnangagwa.

“We have prescribed the national transitional authority as the only vehicle towards a sustainable transition to a truly democratic and developmental dispensation.

“We haven’t shifted and any party official or group that deviates from this will be in violation of the very beliefs and policy positions of Zapu. On the Polad issue, Zapu does not subscribe to that cosmetic process.

“We believe in real dialogue that will pluck our country from this dictatorship and maladministration ditch.”

Katsenga on Thursday said the allegations were part of a smear campaign against him.

“The problem is that these people, who claim to be national leaders, have not been visiting the provinces for many years and when they recently visited the provinces to campaign, people did not know them.

“The provincial chairpersons asked them who they were.

“In fact there are provinces that have not seen these leaders for more than 10 years and all of a sudden they saw them coming to campaign.

“The provinces where these leaders have not been visiting are Harare, Mashonaland East, West, Central, Masvingo and Manicaland.

“They are saying I am influencing the people in these provinces just because as an organiser I am always with the people in these provinces.”

He said he was not involved in the Polad issue, adding that as the Zapu organising secretary he was also using his resources to assist the party.

He said due to the attacks on his person, the party leadership in the northern provinces was planning to boycott the congress.

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