The current lockdown introduced by the government as part of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Zapu’s restructuring programme ahead of the party’s elective congress slated for April this year.
Zapu had targeted to complete restructuring of all its lower organs this month in preparations for the congress.
The congress is expected to replace the party’s late leader Dumiso Dabengwa who died on May 23 2019 in Kenya while en-route to Zimbabwe after undergoing a month long treatment in India.
The restructuring process has, however, been stalled by the current lockdown which does not permit political activities.
“The first general move is there should be no party gatherings like physical meetings and group consultations. This will affect the ongoing restructuring of the branches and districts, which were to be completed this month in time for provincial conferences to prepare for congress,” said Zapu’s secretary-general Strike Mkandla in a memo to the party leadership, structures and members.
He said in the wake of the Covid-19 restrictions, Zapu was exploring other available options to hold the congress.
“The party leadership will explore the options available to us to comply with the 15 April 2021 congress deadline and advise all accordingly. Practical and material requirements will all be examined and considered by the concerned structures,” said Mkandla.
The Zapu secretary-general said the leadership will announce the way forward.
“Interim steps that have to be followed will be conveyed by the leadership so that we have a programme for moving together through this period before any major review is undertaken. We should not get trapped in a culture of indefinite postponement and stagnation if there is something that can be done,” added Mkandla.
He also urged the party’s members to comply with the Covid-19 lockdown measures.
The congress was postponed on several occasions in 2021 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Several candidates including Mkandla, the treasurer-general, Mark Mbaiwa and the party’s spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa are aspiring to replace Dabengwa.
Prominent Bulawayo transport Mogul Mathew Sibanda is also interested in taking over from Dabengwa. Mabuka is, however, not contesting.