The revived ZAPU party led by Dumiso Dabengwa says it has cancelled its second national congress, which was due to start tomorrow and end Thursday, due to failure to raise enough money to host the event.
ZAPU’s southern region spokesperson Ipithule Maphosa told Studio 7 that the party has deferred the congress to a date to be announced next year after its National Executive Council made a negative report about preparations for the event.
Maphosa said the main reason for the postponement of the congress was lack of adequate funding. He said the party had required about $200,000 and dollars to host a minimum of three thousand delegates, which are required to form a quorum for a congress as per the party’s constitution.
Maphosa said a policy consultative meeting will now be held on Thursday. He denied that the party’s failure to hold the congress shows that it is not vibrant and lacks adequate numbers to be considered as a serious political party, blaming the failure to raise funds on the economic crisis which he said has been brought by Zanu PF government’s misrule.
“We have an economy that is close to dying; it’s a sinking economy, people have no money and it’s affecting everyone including ZAPU members. So, we looked at that and we came to the conclusion that we cannot squeeze our members into financing the congress. Most people especially in the Matabeleland provinces are faced with hunger and there are other problems related to a non-functional economy.”
The congress was supposed to be the second after the one held in 2010 following the revival of the party.
Maphosa said ZAPU relies only on funding from contributions by its members and could not be compared to the ruling Zanu PF party, which recently held its annual conference in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
ZAPU was revived by some members, who were frustrated to remain as part of Zanu PF after the signing of a Unity Accord in 1987 between the late Joshua Nkomo, representing ZAPU and president Robert Mugabe, representing the ruling party.
The party has in the past approached the courts seeking to have some of its properties, including office buildings and farms held by the government returned to it, but to no avail.