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Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwe African People's Union is a once militant organization and political party that fought for the national liberation of Zimbabwe from its founding in 1961 until it merged with the Zimbabwe African National Union in December 1987.[1]

The party was formed on 17 December 1961, 10 days after the Rhodesian government's banning of the National Democratic Party (NDP). Founded by Joshua Nkomo as president, Parirenyatwa as vice-president, Ndabaningi Sithole as chairman, Jason Moyo, Robert Mugabe as information and publicity secretary, Leopold Takawira as external secretary, at the request of Joseph Msika, ZAPU was banned in 1962 by the Rhodesian colonial government, and was later engaged in a guerrilla war against it. The armed wing of ZAPU, known as Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), was commanded by General Lookout Masuku. ZIPRA is the only military establishment or movement in the world which has hit an aeroplane with a land mine. After the Royal Rhodesian Air Force started bombing civilian targets in Mozambique and Zambia, ZIPRA started shooting down civilian planes, which were at that point being used to ferry soldiers and matérial to the Rhodesian front. They also burnt the fuel tanks which forced the then Rhodesian administration to negotiate with ZAPU to resolve the issue of equal rights for black people in Zimbabwe.

ZAPU was aligned with the Soviet Union whose ideology was to mobilise the urban workers, whereas ZANU had a pro-People's Republic of China orientation which was to mobilise the rural peasantry.

Contents

Unification into ZANU-PF

In 1980 it contested elections in Zimbabwe as the Patriotic Front, but lost to its rival the ZANU. They merged into ZANU-PF in 1987 following the Gukurahundi massacres.

Unity Accord

The Unity Accord signed at that meeting stated:

  1. That ZANU PF and PF ZAPU have irrevocably committed themselves to unite under one political party.
  2. That the unity of the two political parties; shall be achieved under the name Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) in short ZANU PF.
  3. That Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe shall be the First Secretary and President of ZANU PF.
  4. That ZANU PF shall have two Second Secretaries and Vice Presidents who shall be appointed by the First Secretary and President of the Party.
  5. That ZANU PF shall seek to establish a socialist society in Zimbabwe on the guidance of Marxist-Leninist principles.
  6. That ZANU PF shall seek to establish a One Party State in Zimbabwe.
  7. That the leadership of ZANU PF shall abide by the Leadership Code.
  8. That the existing structures of ZANU PF and PF ZAPU shall be merged in accordance with the letter and spirit of this Agreement.
  9. That both parties shall, in the interim, take immediate vigorous steps to eliminate and end the insecurity and violence prevalent in Matabeleland.
  10. That ZANU PF and PF ZAPU shall convene their respective Congress to give effect to this Agreement within the shortest possible time.
  11. That, in the interim, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe is vested with full powers to prepare for the implementation of this Agreement and to act in the name and authority of ZANU PF.

UMR - Zimbabwe under a Zanu-PF government, was always going to be a project for the personal humiliation of Joshua Nkomo, and symbolically through him, of the Ndebele. Ominously, it was always going to be a mechanism for the collective punishment of, and revenge against, the Ndebele for Ndebele rule over the Shona before colonialism.

Having hung out Nkomo for public pillory, Mugabe set his depraved mob to hurl all forms of abuse, insult and name-calling at Nkomo. And those who answered that clarion call from among the living were expected to: Nathan Shamuyarira; Enos Nkala; Morton Malianga, Maurice Nyagumbo, Simon Muzenda etc. Ndabaningi Sithole would have joined in, but his position was now worse than Nkomo’s. Those who would have excitedly joined in had they been alive were Leopold Takawira and Herbert Chitepo. To these men, anything that remotely supported or sympathised with Nkomo deserved their undiluted wrath. With the institution of the state now in their hands, they could deliver punishment and revenge – raw. And they did!

2008 Withdrawal from Unity Accord

In mid-October 2008, in the midst of the ongoing negotiations with rival parties, a group of former PF ZAPU and Zipra members became outspoken in the desire to dissolve the alliance with ZANU-PF. According to The Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) Website, the members convened a meeting in on November 8, 2008 and at the meeting it was decided:[2]

  1. That the political structure of ZAPU cease to operate under the title ZANU PF and to resume the title ZAPU.
  2. That all party structures operate under the authority of the Constitution of ZAPU.
  3. That the District Councils should meet to prepare for and convene a Consultative Conference consisting of the ten Provinces by December 2008, for the purpose of electing an Interim Executive charged with the responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party Congress by March 2009, in terms of Article 6 of the constitution of ZAPU.
  4. That a campaign to mobilise resources in the country, from well-wishers everywhere, from fraternal political parties and International Organisations be undertaken forthwith.
  5. To engage as necessary in the negotiations and peace building initiatives to emeliorate the political and economic hardships presently being endured by the people of Zimbabwe.
  6. To convene a consultative Conference consisting of all the ten political Provinces by December 2008 for the purpose of electing an Interim Executive, charged to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the Party's Congress by March 2009, in terms of Article 6 of the Constitution of ZAPU.
  7. THIS IS DONE AND AGREED TO by us the delegates to the Consultative Meeting at Stanley Square, Bulawayo on 8 November 2008.

[3]

This resulted in a party-internal controversy which culminated in an official severing of ties with ZANU-PF in December 2008.

ZAPU National Consultative Convention

At the party conference, the ZAPU National Consultative Convention, held from the 13th to the 14th December 2008, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs minister was elected interim chairperson with the mandate to convene a two day congress starting the 11th of April 2009. The congress would formally endorse the pullout from ZANU and elect an executive for the party. The convention took place at MacDonald's Hall in Mzilikazi suburb in Bulawayo[4]

Party Congress of 2009

The party congress of 2009 which was supposed to elect new leadership took place a month later that scheduled, on the 16th of May 2009[5]. The congress formally endorsed the party's withdrawal from Zanu PF. The party announced that it had officially cut ties with Zanu PF and had withdrawn support for its former members who had chosen to remain in ZANU. The congress was attended by delegates from the country's 12 provinces as well as representatives from Canada, South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland[6].

A new leadership was not elected. The interim executive was returned with Dumiso Dabengwa remaining as interim leader.

References

See also

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