By Moses Matenga
THE ruling Zanu PF party has barred party youths from contesting for provincial chairpersons’ posts, a decision likely to create more rifts as youths were pushing to take over senior positions.
Addressing the party’s Bulawayo interim provincial executive yesterday, Zanu PF national political commissar Victor Matemadanda said: “That is the issue we have today. I did not say the district co-ordinating chairpersons are the ones who should contest for the provincial chairperson’s post. Any one of the 25 can contest, a woman, a man, war veterans, but not the youths of course. Youths can contest in other structures, but not as chairpersons. We cannot have a province of kings and queens being led by the youths.”
He also said the party was confident of bagging all the 22 parliamentary seats left vacant following the recent recall of MDC Alliance Members of Parliament by the Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T, and use that to strengthen its support base ahead of the 2023 elections.
“There are going to be by-elections. They (the MDCs) have created those by-elections and they will be defeated,” Matemadanda said.
“Even previous by-elections, we have increased our numbers and it shows people have accepted Zanu PF policies. That is why there are social media hypes to say this and that because the countries that have been supporting the opposition are seeing that the opposition is dead. After the by-elections, they will be quiet because we are going to defeat them.”
Khupe recalled more than 21 MDC Alliance MPs from Parliament saying they had ceased to be members of her party following a moot Supreme Court ruling on March 30 this year which recognised her as legitimate interim MDC-T leader following the death of its founder Morgan Tsvangirai in 2018.
Matemadanda rubbished claims of a rift between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga.
“Our party is strong, very strong. Our leadership is very united. Don’t be told lies, our leadership is solid. There are people who are trying to give the narratives that our leadership is not united. Those are lies. The party is united and we are strong,”
Matemadanda said Zanu PF was readying for “cadreship building” and blasted some elements within the party pushing for dialogue between Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
Matemadanda also attacked United States President Donald Trump, accusing him of fuelling chaos in Zimbabwe by sponsoring protests through civil society organisations and the opposition MDC Alliance.
“They (opposition) think things won’t work without the Americans or the British, others brag that they are a phone call away from Trump. The sell-outs call America and even resort to faking kidnappings,” he said.
“There is a (Economic Freedom Fighters leader, Julius) Malema in South Africa who thinks he knows Zimbabwe more than we do. Zanu PF and ANC [African National Congress] are sister parties. We want to maintain the relations because we know that after defeating Zanu PF today, they will go after ANC and other sister liberation movements,” he said.
The Zanu PF national political commissar accused Malema of working with exiled former Zanu PF members based in South Africa to portray Zimbabwe as a country in crisis.
“We want to know who our real enemy is. Malema and (former Local Government minister Saviour) Kasukuwere say people were denied their rights to march, yet those who organised say they did not want to do that. Malema is a fool. You can say now that those we have here are stooges, the pushing factor is from outside — the Trumps when they blow their trumpets,” he said.