Flesh and soul could be finding their way back to Zimbabwe’s skeletal liberation movement.
JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe’s opposition ZAPU party has embarked on a massive recruitment drive in South Africa, as it begins its re-alignment and re-energizing exercise, in readiness for both the party’s 2020 congress and the 2023 general elections.
Zapu, one of the parties that fought Zimbabwe’s liberation war which brought independence from Britain in 1980, has fared embarrassingly in Zimbabwean elections since it broke away from its 1987 Unity Accord with the ruling Zanu (PF) in late 2008.
In an inadvertent admission that the party needs to pump new blood into its rank and file, the Dumiso Dabengwa-led movement has seemingly warmed up to the fact that it needs to give young people the driving seat, as it retraces its steps back to the grassroots.
Hard on the heels of registering more than 116 new members in Soweto, Johannesburg, the party last weekend launched a branch in Bela-Bela, Limpopo and held an induction workshop for the new members in Soweto. The induction exercises, meant to politically school new members about the Zapu ideology, is part of a multi-pronged process of membership-retention, according to party officials.
Among those who attended the induction workshop in Soweto were members of the interim branch executive committee, members of the Zimbabwe African Women’s Union and the party’s Youth Front – all at branch level.
More than 50 executive members attended the workshop, which was facilitated by the party’s former provincial chairman for South Africa, Dingilizwe Mpondo and the party’s former Youth Front Chairperson, Future Msebele, who is now the party’s deputy national Secretary for International Relations.
“In Zapu, we believe in the empowerment of our members, especially in communication,” said Mpondo.
“We believe the best way for the party to grow would be for it to give a chance to cadres who are knowledgeable about party policies, dynamics of mobilization, and the general political set up. The general party sustainability is based on the knowledge the members have about the party. As Zapu we need members who are able to explain, defend and articulate party polices and sell the organisation. The current political set up international requires cadres who are knowledge about political dynamics.”
Msebele said Zapu was in the process of getting back to the basics, as it sought to take back its place in the apex of Zimbabwean politics.
“Our focus is on strengthening our party structures, repositioning the party and rebranding Zapu to meet modern challenges,” said Msebele, widely touted as one of the front-runners for the Zapu Presidency next year.
“The online recruitment program is also yielding results beyond expectations. With such numbers joining us, it is of paramount importance that we conduct inductions and political schools. ZAPU has been Zimbabwe’s political vanguard and has been determining the ideological and philosophical trajectory to be followed.”
“The object of workshops and political education seminars is to develop cadres who are expected to exhibit a high level of political commitment and doctrinal discipline.”