By Mlondolozi Ndlovu
Harare, November 24, 2016 – FORMER Home Affairs Minister Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu party is up in arms with some local civic groups and churches for allegedly excluding it from their programmes countrywide.
Party spokesperson Iphuthule Maphosa said in a statement on Wednesday that most of the country’s civil society organisations had unfairly “reduced” their political organisation into a small party.
This comes after churches and civil society organisations have organised a number of events in the country’s second largest city of Bulawayo where several parties have been invited.
The former liberation movement has claimed that it has been excluded from nearly all the events including a Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) meeting last month.
“A trend is developing in Zimbabwe which raises suspicion CSOs and the Church could be meddling in our politics as a nation,” Maphosa said.
“The exclusion of Zapu from important processes such as the all stakeholders meeting on elections called by ZESN on the weekend of 29-30 October in Bulawayo gives voice to suspicion of meddling by organisations that are generally expected to be neutral and apolitical in their engagements.”
Maphosa further said his party was also excluded from a city peace building workshop on Wednesday.
“Today (Wednesday), the UCCSA is holding a peace-building workshop in Bulawayo. To our surprise, all political parties have been invited except ZAPU. The Mother Party is left wondering if there are criteria used in selecting who attends such processes and if there are criteria, what makes ZAPU an exclusion,” Maphosa said.
He added: “Are our CSO and Church partners now kingmakers in our body politic that they determine who a political party is and who is not?
“How did they arrive at their list of invitees without ZAPU the oldest party in this land? Have the CSOs and Churches joined the divisive and manipulative politics as conducted by ZANU PF and Robert Mugabe?
“Are they partners to ZANU PF and the Grand Planners who thrive on divisive antics of non recognition of those with an opposite opinion such as the oldest party in Zimbabwe is to Mugabe’s ZANU PF?”