Source: ZAPU congress next month | The Financial Gazette July 21, 2016
BULAWAYO — ZAPU may finally hold its second elective congress next month after postponing it twice last year due to financial constraints.
Patrick Ndlovu, the party’s deputy national spokesperson, said the congress will now be held from August 24 to 26 at Bulawayo’s Amphitheatre.
“Our cash situation is even worse than last year, but we will just have to convene the congress because failure to do so will have legal implications; people are sacrificing,” said Ndlovu.
ZAPU’s first elective congress, which gave Dumiso Dabengwa the mandate to lead the party for five years was held in August 2010 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair grounds, soon after some former PF-ZAPU members had pulled out of the ruling ZANU-PF, which they had joined following the 1987 Unity Accord.
The party’s special indaba which was initially supposed to be held in August last year had to be postponed owing to financial constraints to December last year. Even then it failed to materialise as a result of inadequate funding.
ZAPU had targeted to raise US$200 000 to host the congress, but only raised US$80 000.
With a deficit of US$120 000, a decision was made to cancel the indaba.
The delay has also cost the party some members such as its deputy president, Emilia Mukaratirwa, who resigned from the party early this year saying she could not continue serving beyond her term limit.
A mini-conference was subsequently held to strategise on the elective congress, whose preparations began in January this year.
At least 1 500 delegates, according to the party’s constitution, have to be in attendance so that the indaba can constitute a congress.
Constitutionally, the term of office for the current ZAPU leadership ended last year.
Dabengwa, is largely tipped to retain control of the party after provinces in December endorsed him for the top post, ahead of many other aspiring candidates.
Three senior members, secretary general Strike Mkandla; Ralph Mguni and little known United Kingdom-based Thulani Nkala, had indicated their intention to contest for the party’s top job.