Mr Dumiso Dabengwa
Leader of ZAPU
Date of Birth: 06/12/1939
Commentary: Dumiso Dabengwa, the former head of intelligence for the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army and a member of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Politburo, emerged at a congress last month as interim Chairman of the Patriotic Front, which draws its support from the southern provinces of Matebeleland.
Dabengwa remains a popular figure partly because of his credentials
from the liberation struggle and his criticism of the regime’s 1983-85
Gukuruhundi massacres in Matebeleland. He was subsequently detained.
Dumiso Dabengwa's public defection from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in February 2008 was a serious blow
to the party.
Dabengwa had been getting progressively more disenchanted with ZANU-PF
and President Robert Mugabe’s rule, sometimes taking him on
head-to-head at stormy Politburo meetings. Now Dabengwa and the Patriotic Front (PF) say
they have dissolved the Unity Accord and demand the return of PF
property that is in the hands of ZANU-PF.
The PF is scheduled to hold another congress to elect a new leadership;
Dabengwa claims he will not stand. Meanwhile, with Cyril Ndebele,
Dabengwa heads a Council of Elders to guide the transition. The new PF
is expected to call for a federal constitution with substantial powers
for the regions when the drafting of a new constitution begins. We hear
that Vice-President Joseph Msika is not unsympathetic to these moves.