By NQOBANI NDLOVU
LACK of funds and failure to hold provincial conferences by the opposition Zapu party have once again stalled its elective congress to replace late leader Dumiso Dabengwa.
This is not the first time the opposition party has postponed its elective congress owing to financial challenges among other reasons. Dabengwa died in 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya en-route to Zimbabwe after undergoing a month-long treatment in India.
He was declared a national hero and buried at the family graveyard in Ntabazinduna.
The party was forced to postpone its elective congress initially scheduled for August last year owing to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.
The party also considered having a virtual congress but the idea did not find support with the membership.
During the party’s national people’s council held over the weekend, a resolution was made to shift dates for both provincial conferences and congress.
“This was necessitated by delays in completing the provincial conferences owing to COVID-19 lockdown regulations that were imposed by the government. It was recommended that a shift will allow adequate time for the completion of the processes,” said party spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa.
As a result, the provincial conference deadline has been “extended from February 28 to March 31, 2021 while the people’s congress dates have been shifted from April 15 to April, 30 2021,” Maphosa said.
Since Dabengwa’s death, there has been jostling for the top post in the party between the young generation and the old guard.
Acting president Isaac Mabuka has announced that he will not contest for the top position at the congress. Several people including the party’s incumbent secretary-general Strike Mkandla, treasurer-general Mark Mbaiwa, Matabeleland South chairperson Matthew Sibanda and Maphosa are reportedly eyeing the presidency.
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