CHIEF WRITER 13 February 2017
HARARE – Former Zanu PF youth league boss and the leader of war
collaborators Pupurayi Togarepi has thrown lavish praises on President
Robert Mugabe, who turns 93 next week, claiming that the nonagenarian is
actually fitter than most 50-year-olds.
In a wide ranging interview with the Daily News, Togarepi also rejected
suggestions that he is a member of the Team Lacoste faction that is
presumptively led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Asked how Mugabe who is facing increased pressure from both his party and
opposition to unveil a succession plan – can revive the economy that
critics say he singlehandedly destroyed – Togarepi said the 92-year-old
has the capacity to take Zimbabwe forward.
“The president has the capacity and any delays in government there are
reasons, he is one of the strongest people I have seen.., he can run
faster than me. As far as we are concerned the choice is his but as cadres
we are firmly behind him.”
With some war collaborators now publicly stating their anger at the
failure by government to pay their monthly allowances as provided in the
Constitution, Togarepi urged for calm saying when people went to war they
did not do so for material reasons.
“… I am concerned we don’t want to go to the extent of dumping the
revolution, we can’t help ourselves but there should be calm and
discipline, we are fully behind Zanu PF and its leader as war
collaborators and we will continue …,” said Togarepi.
Recently, a group of dissatisfied war collaborators indicated that they
would not vote Zanu PF in 2018 as the ruling party has failed to honour
its obligations, however, seemingly currying favour with the
establishment, Togarepi urged his followers to give government time
considering that the economy is crumbling.
“We did not go to war to be rich but we would like to call upon government
to fulfil its promises because we are not getting younger …,” said
Togarepi, who was kicked out from Zanu PF last year on hazy allegations
and claimed that although he is on the sidelines he is not bitter.
Togarepi’s successor Kudzanai Chipanga recently torched a storm when he
said Mugabe should be succeeded by his wife Grace, and also threatened to
take up arms if the youths’ aspirations were not fulfilled, but the soft
spoken war collaborators’ leader said democracy should be used when the
question on who will succeed Mugabe arises.
“…of course the youths are excitable and can do so many things but I
believe that energy should be channelled elsewhere. We fought during the
liberation struggle but now we will use democracy to put people in power
not arms,” said Togarepi.