Zimbabwe African People's Union
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|Founded||17 December 1961 (historic)|
April 1999 (current)
|Youth wing||ZAPU YOUTH|
|House of Assembly|
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|Pan African Parliament|
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The Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) is a Zimbabwean socialist political party. It is a militant organization and political party that campaigned for majority rule in Rhodesia, from its founding in 1961 until 1980. In 1987, it merged with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU – PF). It was relaunched in 2008.
The party was formed on 17 December 1961, 10 days after the Rhodesian government banned the National Democratic Party (NDP). It was founded by Joshua Nkomo as president, Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa as vice-president, Ndabaningi Sithole as chairman, Jason Moyo, Robert Mugabe as information and publicity secretary Leopold Takawira as external secretary. At the request of Joseph Msika, ZAPU was banned in 1962 by the Rhodesian white minority government, and later engaged in a guerrilla war against it. The armed wing of ZAPU, known as Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA), was commanded by General Lookout Masuku.
Unification into ZANU-PF
The Unity Accord signed at that meeting stated that:
- ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU have irrevocably committed themselves to unite under one political party.
- The unity of the two political parties; shall be achieved under the name Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) in short ZANU - PF.
- Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe shall be the First Secretary and President of ZANU PF.
- ZANU PF shall have two Second Secretaries and Vice-Presidents, who shall be appointed by the First Secretary and President of the Party.
- ZANU PF shall seek to establish a socialist society in Zimbabwe on the guidance of Marxism–Leninism principles.
- ZANU PF shall seek to establish a One Party State in Zimbabwe.
- The leadership of ZANU - PF shall abide by the Leadership Code.
- The existing structures of ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU shall be merged in accordance with the letter and spirit of this Agreement.
- Both parties shall take immediate vigorous steps to eliminate and end the insecurity and violence prevalent in Matabeleland.
- ZANU - PF and PF ZAPU shall convene their respective Congress to give effect to this Agreement within the shortest possible time.
- In the interim Mugabe is vested with full powers to prepare for the implementation of this Agreement and to act in the name and authority of ZANU - PF.
2008 withdrawal from Unity Accord
Under the influence of Benny Ncube and Dumiso Dabengwa in mid-October 2008, in the midst of ongoing negotiations with rival parties, a group of former PF ZAPU and Zipra members loudly pushed to dissolve the alliance with ZANU - PF. The members convened a meeting on 8 November, and it was decided that:
- The political structure of ZAPU would cease to operate under the title ZANU - PF and to reassume the title ZAPU.
- All party structures would operate under the Constitution of ZAPU.
- The District Councils to meet to prepare for and convene a Consultative Conference consisting of the ten Provinces by December 2008, for the purpose of electing an Interim Executive charged with the responsibility to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the party Congress by March 2009, in terms of ZAPU constitution Article 6.
- A campaign to mobilise resources in the country to be undertaken forthwith, with support from well-wishers, from fraternal political parties and International Organisations.
- Engaging as necessary in the negotiations and peace-building initiatives to ameliorate the political and economic hardships afflicting the people of Zimbabwe.
- A consultative Conference consisting of all ten political Provinces by December 2008 will elect an Interim Executive, charged to mobilise and restructure the party and convene the Party's Congress by March 2009, in terms of Article 6.
16 withdraw from Znlwva
Ex-ZIPRA cadres officially withdrew their membership from the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, which was under the administration of ZANU PF. They revived ZIPRA, led by Benny Ncube as chairperson, Tapson Moyo as vice chairperson, Petros Sibanda as secretary, Job Ndlovu as deputy secretary, Belinda Ndebele as treasurer,\ and committee members are Stanley Ncube and Clement Malaba Ncube. The committee's mandate was to set up the association's structures in provinces and districts in preparation for the inaugural congress where the substantive executive was to be elected. The association will work closely with the mother party ZAPU.
National Consultative Convention
At the party conference, the ZAPU National Consultative Convention, held from the 13-14 December 2008, Dumiso Dabengwa, a former Home Affairs minister was elected interim chairperson with the mandate to convene a two-day congress starting 11 April 2009. The congress would formally endorse the pullout from ZANU and elect an executive for the party.
Party Congress of 2009
The party congress of 2009, which was supposed to elect new leadership, took place a month later than scheduled, on 16 May 2009. The congress formally endorsed the party's withdrawal from ZANU PF and withdrew support for its former members who had chosen to remain in ZANU. The congress was attended by delegates from the country's 10 provinces as well as representatives from Canada, South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. The party's new platform promised to restore "respectable nationhood" where the people were "the pivot around which proper, able and accountable leadership is elected."
Party Congress of 2010
A full Congress was held in August 2010, at which a full policy was agreed and leadership elected with Dumiso Dabengwa as President and Emilia Mukaratirwa as Vice-President.
- Sibanda, Eliakim M. The Zimbabwe African People's Union, 1961–87: A Political History of Insurgency in Southern Rhodesia. p. 1
- "Joshua Nkomo | Zimbabwean political leader". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- "Zimbabwe African Peoples Union". ZAPU. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Nyathi, Kholwani (12 January 2009). "Zimbabwe: Revived PF Zapu Officials Allege Abductions of Members". Zimbabwe Standard (Harare). Retrieved 10 July 2018.
- "ZAPU Conference, December 2008". Zapu.org. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "ZAPU congress votes to withdraw from Zanu PF". Newzimbabwe.com. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "ZAPU congress endorses withdrawal". Thezimbabwetimes.com. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Zanu PF ghost still haunting Zapu?". Zimbabwe Situation. 26 April 2010. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015. originally published in The Standard.
- Official website of the Zimbabwe African People's Union
- Zimbabwe: History of a Struggle a 1972 pamphlet by ZAPU