Tuesday 7 November 2017


OPPOSITION Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa, has revealed plans to retire from active politics citing old age, saying it is time to handover the baton to party youths.

Dabengwa has been Zapu leader since 2009 when he broke ranks with Zanu PF, citing frustration over President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to step down and his failure to uphold the values of the 1987 Unity Accord between then PF-Zapu and Zanu.

On Saturday, Dabengwa said he wanted out of politics, and was not seeking re-election at the party’s next elective congress set for 2020.

“In two years’ time I will be 80-years-old, and it’s my long held wish that I retire from active politics at that age. I wish the party grants me this wish. But all the same, I am already serving my constitutional second term as leader of Zapu, so it must not be hard for the mother party to let me go seeing that the party constitution will not allow me to stay on,” Dabengwa told Zapu youths during an elective congress held in Bulawayo at the weekend.

Mugabe at 93 is not showing any signs of wanting to step down, and Zanu PF has endorsed him to represent the ruling party in the 2018 harmonised elections. Dabengwa said, for him, at 80 he will be too old to be burdened with active politics.

“I, therefore, call on the party, especially the youth to consider leadership renewal across the board. We need young people to take this movement forward and transform it to contemporary standards. You can take it as you ably demonstrated by this conference on your own with no financial support but from yourselves. I am confident I leave the party in capable hands of these young people gathered here,” he said.

The former Home Affairs minister also urged the party youth to register to vote for the next elections to “solve the dictatorship” issue by voting out Zanu PF from power.

“On leadership renewal he said only young people have solutions to the problems bedevilling the party and country. Just as young people solved the problem of colonialism, today’s youth will solve the dictatorship issue.

“It will start by Zapu youth taking leadership of the mother party come congress in 2020 and subsequently they will tackle the Mugabe regime and give leadership to the country,” Dabengwa added.

The Zapu youth league elected a new national executive, with Chrispen Ndlovu from Bulawayo landing the post of chairperson. He will be deputised by Samantha Makonese from Matabeleland South. Newsday


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