Country Report Zimbabwe September 2010

The political scene: The ZAPU leader is elected

Dumiso Dabengwa, formerly the home affairs minister in the Mugabe government, has been unanimously elected as leader of the "new" Zimbabwe African Political Union (ZAPU). Established in the 1950s by Zimbabwe's first internationally recognised nationalist leader, Joshua Nkomo, ZAPU formally dissolved in 1987 when Mr Nkomo entered into a political merger with Mr Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) to create ZANU-PF. The "new" ZAPU has now formally seceded from ZANU-PF, 18 months after severing links with the party, and says that it will contest future elections. The move is bad news for both wings of the MDC, but especially the Mutambara section, since all of its members of parliament come from the Matabeleland/Midlands area, where ZAPU is expected to recruit the vast bulk of its support.

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