ZAPU’s secretary-general, Dr Strike Mkandla (70) has launched his presidential bid ahead of the elective congress set for this August, saying the revolutionary party requires a leader who will value its history and will steer it forward.
Dr Mkandla believes ZAPU needs a leader who understands what transition is in relation to its current situation, not individuals who will make fake promises to mislead people.
ZAPU’s presidential seat became vacant after the death of Dr Dumiso Dabengwa in 2019 and the party had been operating without a vice president since 2018.
The party had slated to hold its elective congress in April but was forced to move it to August due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
In an interview with CITE, Dr Mkandla said his campaign theme was ‘authentic transition’ promising to provide able leadership for the opposition party.
“There are all manners of transition. If the transition is not properly managed it can be chaotic. First of all, we know ZAPU was led by Joshua Nkomo for a long time and we didn’t have the problem of leadership or where are we going. Nkomo practically set the pace and figured out where we were going and how we should go for it,” he said.
“Dabengwa was pulled in 2010 to lead and he was highly experienced both in the military and also in the political terrain. Therefore, he was the best suited to run after Nkomo after it was re-established from coming out of the belly of Zanu-PF.”
Dr Mkandla becomes the third presidential candidate to be chosen by a province after the Chitungwiza branch nominated him over the weekend
The other two presidential candidates are Bernard Magugu who was selected by the South African branch while the European branch opted for ZAPU’s current Treasurer- General Mark Mubayiwa.
Dr Mkandla said the transition was crucial as no one must be anointed a leader “because they belonged somewhere or were a child of someone.”