The newly elected Zapu president, Sibangilizwe Nkomo, has urged party members to remain to loyal to the opposition party and work with him to restore the organisation back to its former glory.
Nkomo, son to the late founding father and nationalist Joshua Nkomo, invoked the spirit of unity after he won the presidency in a drama filled elective congress on Saturday.
Nkomo, whose home province is Matabeleland South won with 793 votes, against former party Secretary General – Dr Strike Mkandla from Bulawayo who only received 22 votes while the youngest candidate, Bernard Magugu from Midlands managed 52 votes.
The three day Zapu elective congress comes after a series of postponement due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
However, during the congress, six party members including one presidential aspirant, Matthew Sibanda, filed an urgent chamber application against the party and Nkomo to stop proceedings.
The applicants later voluntarily withdrew their case and congress proceedings continued.
Before voting started, all provincial chairpersons were informed they would receive ballot papers corresponding to the number of their registered and accredited delegates.
Delegates from Bulawayo Province were allocated 247 ballots, Matabeleland North -128 ballots, Matabeleland South – 227 ballots, Midlands -135 ballots, Manicaland – seven ballots, Harare – 49 ballots, Mashonaland East – eight ballots, Mashonaland West -14 ballots, Mashonaland Central – eight ballots, Chitungwiza- 26 ballots.
Structures from outside the country were also represented as South Africa received 45 ballots, Botswana -two ballots, Canada and the United Kingdom both received one ballot each.
Total number of ballots issued for the post of President was 898 papers.
The delegates were then asked to write the name of their preferred candidate on the ballot paper given.
For the vice presidency, three candidates were nominated and these were, Derek Katsenga from Mashonaland East, who won with 309 votes, against Isabel Murambiwa from the Canada province with 284 votes and Buster Magwizi from Mashonaland West with 152 votes.
For the post of National Chairperson, four of the five candidates were former ZPRA and army generals.
Former Treasurer General, Mark Mbayiwa from Matabeleland North emerged the winner with 431 votes, defeating Magwizi (54 votes), the party’s national organising secretary – Zolani Dlamini from Bulawayo (47 votes), Patron Nketha also from Bulawayo (44 votes) and Richard Chitiyo from Midlands with (23 votes).
The Secretary General post was won by Mthulisi Hanana from Botswana province with 590 votes, against Vuyani Hlazo from South Africa province who polled 54 votes.
Former Deputy Secretary for International Relations, Future Msebele from the South Africa province grabbed the Treasurer General post with 152 votes against Grace Noko ( Bulawayo with 90 votes), Bongani Halimane (South African with 79 votes and Khethiwe Silundika (Bulawayo with 79 votes as well.
The voting ended after 7pm.