Bulawayo Bureau — Zapu is facing a funding crisis which threatens its participation in next year's harmonised elections, party president Dr Dumiso Dabengwa said at the weekend. The party has been plagued by lack of money since its formation. A few months ago, it suffered the humiliation of being evicted from rented premises where its national headquarters were housed in Bulawayo after it failed to pay monthly rentals.
The party had fallen into arrears amounting to about US$14 000.
Speaking at a press conference after the party's national conference at a lodge in Gumtree, Dr Dabengwa said all Zapu office bearers would have to pay monthly subscriptions to raise funds for the party to meet some of the financial obligations.
"Due to lack of sufficient funds in our organisation, all officers and position bearers will have to pay monthly subscriptions in order to meet financial challenges.
To hold a position within the party one has to pay a monthly subscription to ensure the party raises funds for next year's election.
"Members in the national executive council will pay a minimum of US$20 while other members of the party in positions will pay a minimum of US$10 per month, in addition to the monthly membership subscriptions," said Dr Dabengwa.
He said the party was willing to form alliances with other political parties sharing similar principles.
"We are open to negotiations to form alliances with other parties as long as they respect the values of the liberation struggle.
They should fully subscribe to the policy of devolution of power, have respect for human rights and subscribe to proportional representation in Parliament.
"At the moment, Zapu is not going into any alliance with any political party," he said.
Zapu vice-president Mrs Emilia Mukara-tiwa castigated MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for displaying poor leadership qualities through practising name-calling as a political strategy. She said this in apparent reference to a recent outburst by Mr Tsvangirai in which he dismissed political leaders from the Matabeleland region as "villagers".