WASHINGTON DC —
Presidential aspirant and Zapu leader Dumiso “Black Russian” Dabengwa, who recently forged an alliance with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, has ruled out dropping out of the presidential race to boost the vote numbers of his coalition partner.
Dabengwa told VOA’s Studio 7 in an exclusive interview that it is too late to consider fielding one candidate though there are “quite a number of areas we can co-operate as Zapu such as fielding only a few candidates.”
Dabengwa also shot down forming a grand alliance with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to topple incumbent president Robert Mugabe.
“The issue as far as we are concerned in Zapu is not about removing Mugabe from government. It is about coming up with issues which people will make it possible for them to support us as parties and after the election.
"I do not believe anyone will have an outright majority … After the election we will be in a position to look at the results and at that stage we can take a position to say fine, can we form a coalition arrangement.”
Mr. Dabengwa claims that he pulled out of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party to revive Zapu because of widespread violence in the run-up and aftermath of the 2008 elections which left several thousands homeless and hundreds dead, maimed and missing.
Dabengwa is a former Zanu PF Politburo heavyweight who served in that role following the December 1987 unity accord signed by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the late Joshua Nkomo’s PF Zapu.
He served as head of the ZIPRA intelligence during the liberation war. In 1982, the Mugabe regime charged Dabengwa, with the late former Zipra forces commander Lookout Masuku and four others, of treason.
They were acquitted due to lack of evidence in 1983. On release, they were redetained under emergency regulations.
From 1992 to 2000, he served in the government as minister of home affairs, and in 1991 he was appointed chairman of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.