ZAPU, which Dabengwa described as “the alpha and omega of true freedom in Zimbabwe,” was formed in 1961 during the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe in the British colonial era. However, after forming a unity government with Zanu (PF) in 1987 that brought an end to Gukurahundi massacres, ZAPU later pulled-out in 2008 and revived itself as a separate party.
“We are looking forward to a very successful Golden Jubilee Celebration which will convince the few remaining doubting Thomases that ZAPU means serious business,” said Dabengwa, a former Zanu (PF) minister and politburo member.
Dabengwa said his revived party had invited ANC of South Africa, MPLA of Angola, FRELIMO of Mozambique, SWAPO of Namibia and other liberation movements in Southern Africa to the commemorations that will be held on December 17 at Bulawayo’s giant Barbourfields Stadium.
Dabengwa also described Zanu (PF) as a dead beast which is only waiting to decay saying Zapu has survived several attempts by President Mugabe’s party to dissolve it forever.
“This is a party that has survived two armed offensives, and for 22 years decided to get into the belly of the beast in order to survive. We knew the beast was going to die one day and we would come out. Sadly, others are still stuck in the bell of the beast, waiting to die in there or come out when the dead beast decays,” said Dabengwa.
“Zapu was formed in 1961 and was the inception of the vision of the true freedom of the entire peoples of Zimbabwe, irrespective of their race, colour, tribe, gender or any conceivable differences, differences which woven together make us who we are as Zimbabweans,” he said.
“We have obtained the necessary police clearance to hold the function, though we wish to engage the police to allow the celebrations to go up to 9 pm, and not the 4 pm they have stipulated,” Canaan Ncube, chairperson of the golden jubilee celebrations committee, said.
“I am happy to announce that my committee has at hand 12 beasts donated by well-wishers to feed people during the occasion. Our target is to have 40 000 people at Barbourfields Stadium. We hope to mobilise 80 beasts to feed them,” added Ncube.
He said ZAPU friends in South Africa had booked and paid for mbaqanga music legends, Soul Brothers, to be part of the entertainment menu, adding that several high profile local artists such as the legendary Black Umfolosi and the queen of the stage, Sandra Ndebele, were among others earmarked to be part of the historic occasion.
Lloyd Nyakabangwe, ZAPU national council of elders chairperson, also present at the conference said: “We are happy as your elders that we played our part in the revival of ZAPU by guiding the leadership and the younger generations to successfully revive the party. We remain available to continue playing that role. ZAPU belongs to the young people, whose destiny is at stake.”