Blow to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF: Major ally PF ZAPU pulls out

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The Bulawayo branch of the notorious Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) was from Thursday operating from the streets as they were evicted from Magnet Building by PF ZAPU members.

Also Zanu PF’s Davis Hall office weere locked up.

The two buildings belong to PF ZAPU. During the liberation struggle PF Zapu bought several properties ranging from hotels, farms, residential flats and set new companies. Zanu PF, however, never had property. But after 1980, the Mugabe regime nationalized all PF ZAPU properties. Now, they want them back, hence the evictions.

By late afternoon their operations were disrupted and they could be seen moving their files out of the building to a yet to be known destination. Onlookers had a rare moment of witnessing a rare public humiliation.

As the CIO was kicked out, PF ZAPU was announcing that it had pulled out of Zanu PF heralding a difficult period for Robert Mugabe’s party.

The former leaders announced on Thursday they intend holding a convention next month to choose an interim leadership to steer the revival of PF ZAPU and convene a congress by March next year.

Said Retired Colonel Buster Magwizi, “The district councils should meet to prepare for and convene a consultative conference consisting of the 10 provinces by December 2008, for the purpose of electing an interim executive charged with the responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party’s congress by March 2009.”

According to sources, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former senior member of ZANU PF and Mugabe’s Cabinet is leading the revival of PF ZAPU and is strongly tipped to be chosen leader by the party congress.

Other former senior PF ZAPU members pushing for the revival of the party include Welshman Mabhena (former ZAPU secretary general), former war veterans’ leader Andrew Ndlovu, former government minister Thenjiwe Lesabe, Effort Nkomo and Tryphine Nhliziyo.

Nkomo and Nhliziyo are presently spokesman and secretary for the administration of ZANU PF for Bulawayo province respectively.

The breaking away of PF ZAPU which comes about 10 months after former finance minister Simba Makoni also pulled out of ZANU PF – appears to suggest that things could be slowly falling apart for Mugabe’s party after years of internal fighting over the veteran leader’s succession.

PF ZAPU and its late leader Joshua Nkomo drew most of their support from the southern Matabeleland and Midlands provinces while Mugabe and ZANU PF are strong in the northern parts of the country.

Top ZANU PF official and government Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who is also a former ZAPU member, was quick to deny the party had withdrawn from ZANU PF and insisted the Unity Accord was still holding firmly.

He said: “Some claim they have pulled out of the Unity Accord but Vice President Joseph Msika, John Nkomo (all former ZAPU) and myself are still part of the agreement so where is the pull-out when all the senior PF ZAPU leaders are still in ZANU PF.”

PF ZAPU and ZANU PF fought a bitter 1970s guerrilla war to free Zimbabwe from colonial rule. The two allies formed a government of national unity at independence in 1980 but soon fell out when then Prime Minister Mugabe accused PF ZAPU leader Joshua Nkomo and his party of plotting an armed insurrection against him.

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