The Zimbabwe Ex-Political Prisoners, Detainees and Restrictees Association’s (ZEPPDRA) first congress has opened in the capital amid chaos as a splinter group tried to stop the congress by demonstrating against the current leadership.
The 2-day ZEPPDRA congress which opened at the Zanu PF headquarters on Friday morning was marred by chaos as an ad hoc group comprising a handful of people tried to disrupt proceedings claiming that the congress was unsanctioned as the ad hoc group has issued a vote of no confidence in the national chairman, Cde Victor Kuretu.
Zanu (PF) aligned ZEPPDRA’s ad hoc secretary general Percy Kuzvinzwa, who tried to stop proceedings at the congress, claimed the meeting was void saying Kuretu is still suspended from carrying out any activity on behalf of the association citing the vote of no confidence passed on the national chairman by the ad hoc committee on the 17th of October for misconduct and leadership style.
“The vote of no confidence was passed by more than 400 people from all the provinces and the national chair Ambassador SK Moyo was there. He (Kuretu) has refused advice from the patron to stop the congress….he must go…,” said Cde Kuzvinzwa.
However, Kuretu described the ad hoc group as bogus and dismissed its leadership and demonstration.
Kuretu said the association has not held a congress in the past as it sought to address the immediate concerns of its membership’s welfare, adding that the elective congress is expected to usher in a more organised and focused leadership as most of their desires have been fulfilled.
“The group that you saw demonstrating is bogus they are fraudulently trying to put themselves in positions they don’t belong. Nevertheless, we are going ahead with our congress and we are looking at new leadership among other issues,” Cde Kuretu said.
The congress which will close on Saturday is expected to bring in new leadership as well as amend the association’s constitution and map the forward for the association.