ZAPU has turned to its members, well-wishers and the business community in neighbouring South Africa for a financial bailout as the former liberation movement limps from one crisis to the next.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Insiders told Southern Eye that Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa and party treasurer general Jacob Dube have been in South Africa for almost a fortnight begging for funding to oil party activities.
The funding, if received, said insiders, would also assist the party in its electioneering programmes ahead of the 2018 elections.
Zapu self-funds its programmes as it does not receive any money under the Political Parties Finance Act that stipulates that any party with at least 5% of the total votes cast is entitled to Treasury funding.
Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa confirmed Dabengwa and party treasurer-general were in South Africa to among other things, solicit for funding.
“It is true that Dabengwa and Dube are outside the country. As a party that receives no government funding, we always take each and every opportunity that presents itself to look for assistance and I am certain Dabengwa did the same during his visit to SA,” Maphosa said yesterday.
The party has been struggling to raise funds for rentals, pay staff and conduct national campaigns since its relaunch in 2009.
Maphosa blamed Zapu’s financial woes on government refusal to hand over properties belonging to the party it seized in the early 1980s alleging it had discovered arms caches.
“We urge the government to expedite the handing over of Zapu and Zipra properties so that the party self-funds its activities. It is good though that they (government) have finally come to their senses on this properties issue and we urge them to be open and transparent about it.”
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko recently told Zapu and Zipra ex-combatants that government was in the process of returning the seized properties.
According to a Zapu inventory, the party owns properties that include the four-storey Magnet House which houses the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Bulawayo.
The party also owns Davies Hall which is used by Zanu PF as its Bulawayo provincial headquarters.
Other properties include farms and hotels, among them Castle Arms in Bulawayo, Green Haven — a huge entertainment facility along Victoria Falls Road — and several residential properties.
Zapu also wants a property that houses over 50 police officers and their families in Queens Park East in Bulawayo returned to them. The property, previously known as Lundi Hotel, used to house injured Zapu cadres after the war of liberation