BY SILAS NKALA
THE opposition Zapu party has announced that it will not hold an extra-ordinary congress following the death of its leader Dumiso Dabengwa (DD) last month, but has endorsed Isaac Mabuka as acting president until its elective congress in August 2020, party spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said at the weekend.
Following the ex-Zipra intelligence supremo’s death, Mabuka took over the presidency in an acting capacity pending the holding of the extra-ordinary congress.
“Zapu has resolved that it will not hold an extra-ordinary congress as expected. Instead, the mother party resolved to continue with its planned and scheduled congress in August 2020, under the leadership of Mabuka, who has been endorsed as acting president until congress,” Maphosa said.
“The party also resolved to maintain the rest of the current leadership at all levels. The period from now to congress will be utilised in strengthening structures and receiving multitudes who have shown keenness to join the party following a display of steadfastness and principles by Zapu following the death of our leader a month ago.”
Zapu has also written to the Bulawayo City Council requesting the local authority to honour Dabengwa by naming one of the city’s streets, Fife Street, after him.
Dabengwa died in Kenya on May 23, while on his way from India where he had gone to seek medical attention for a liver ailment. He was declared a national hero, but was buried at his rural home in Ntabazinduna.
The party handed the request to the local authority yesterday and Maphosa said they were hopeful that the city council would honour their request.
“We know ngeke bakwalela wena Black Russian (they will not refuse him the honour). We believe they share the same respect and honour of DD, so we really do not think they will refuse. DD is everybody’s hero,” Maphosa said.
“This is recognition of his immense contribution to the liberation, development and stability of the country . . . He later became a hero of the peace advocates in the country when he was persecuted by independent Zimbabwe authorities, but chose peace and stability over power.”
Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said he was yet to see the letter, but confirmed that he was approached personally by both Zapu and the Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation on the same issue.
“Their request is a noble one and the council is there to implement the will of stakeholders,” he said.