HARARE – Dumiso Dabengwa, leader of the revived Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (Zapu), has admitted that his party is going through turbulent times and struggling for cash.
So bad is the situation that the party is begging its supporters to pay their monthly subscriptions to save it from collapse.
Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs minister, pulled out of Zanu PF to lead Zapu, which had entered into a “unity” agreement with President Robert Mugabe in 1987.
Ahead of crucial elections, most likely to be held next year, Zapu has no offices and is deep in a debt it cannot pay.
Bulawayo High Court judge Nicholas Ndou last month ordered the eviction of the opposition party from offices it was renting and using as its national headquarters.
He also ordered the auctioning of Zapu’s property to recover a $15 000 debt owed to Edson Chemhere Mabudapasi, the owner of the premises.
Despite reports of the former giant party selling 14 herd of cattle to save the situation, Zapu is still in the doldrums, Dabengwa said.
Dabengwa told party supporters at Magwegwe Hall during a weekend function to commemorate Zapu liberation war fighters who died during the 1970s anti-colonialism struggle.
“I am appealing to you to pay your monthly subscriptions because as a party we survive on them.
You need to look after your party as we used to do during the time of Joshua Nkomo when our party used to survive on monthly subscriptions and it used to be very strong,” he said.
“I have even tasked our secretary-general who is overseas to source funds for us and fortunately he has promised us something,” he said.
Speaking to the Daily News on the side-lines of the event, Dabengwa confirmed that his party was financially handicapped.
“Subscriptions have not been coming through in a manner we would have wanted.
That is why we are trying to have our members pay their subscriptions in a proper way as this will go towards assisting us in running our affairs,” Dabengwa said.
On the closure of party offices Dabengwa said: “We got an alternative, a small place just to operate from as we look for money to pay our debt. After we finish paying we can as well renegotiate with the owner of the building so that we can go back.”
“The issue has affected us especially on our communication where some people are even calling me on issues that could have been handled by the secretariat,” he said.
Dabengwa said the party’s visibility was affected by lack of resources.
“People are complaining about the visibility of the party and it is not easy. We need to have resources. We need the money, transport to go out there and that is our challenge,” said Dabengwa.
Once led by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, Zapu was forced to sign a unity agreement in 1987 by Mugabe’s Zanu PF following years of political strife in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces where more than 20 000 people are believed to have been killed by a North Korean-trained brigade under Mugabe’s command. – Daily News