‘Cozwa a factional project’

Source: ‘Cozwa a factional project’ | The Herald July 27, 2017

Herald Reporter
THE Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans Association (COZWA) that President Mugabe lambasted last week for tarnishing Zanu-PF’s image is part of the parallel structures allegedly set up by embattled Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere in a bid to topple President Mugabe, it has emerged.

Addressing Zanu-PF youths in Lupane, President Mugabe said the party must not allow criminals to soil its image.

This followed a video generated by COZWA, beating up supposedly a member of an opposition party, which went viral on social media. COZWA was moving around in a vehicle with images of First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, allegedly in a bid to tarnish her name.

COZWA is led by one Munyaradzi Shoko.He is notoriously known for attacking the Zanu-PF leadership on social media.

It is understood Cde Kasukuwere approached the Zanu-PF Youth League leadership to work with him on his project, but they refused.

Sources said Cde Kasukuwere, working with some senior Zanu-PF members, then formed COZWA to checkmate the Youth League in wooing young people to their camp.

Although COZWA claims to represent the interests of the children of war veterans, it was recruiting young people across the country in its structures.

Said a source: “COZWA is an underground project being used to advance political interests of certain individuals in the party.

“If it is an association for the children of war veterans, why is it on a countrywide campaign recruiting all young people?

“Why is it its leader Mr Shoko attacks Minister of War Veterans Cde Tshinga Dube and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who are war veterans?

“This project was mooted after the party’s youth wing refused to back Cde Kasukuwere’s power bid project.”

Another source said COZWA was being funded at the expense of party activities by the Youth League.

“The Youth League is even starved at the expense of COZWA,” said the source.

“Recently, COZWA members were funded to go to Mozambique to attend Mozambican independence day celebrations and its leader was seen with Minister of State for Manicaland Province before their departure to Mozambique.

“They are being funded to attend all the Presidential Youth Interface rallies, where they are having some kangaroo meetings with Cde Kasukuwere and other senior party members.

“To give credence to the fact that COZWA is Cde Kasukuwere’s project, recently Mr Shoko shot a video with Cde Kasukuwere in Mt Darwin, purporting to be supporting President Mugabe.”

Efforts to get a comment from Cde Kasukuwere yesterday were fruitless.

Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga, who is the Zanu-PF secretary for youth affairs, dissociated the revolutionary party’s youth wing from COZWA and all its activities.

“We dissociate ourselves as the Youth League from their activities because they are tarnishing the name of the party,” he said.

“We do not want people who behave like prefects to the party and they are moving around beating up people.

“Zanu-PF does not believe in violence. I urge our youths to join the party and not such dubious organisations.”

Contacted for a comment, Mr Shoko said he founded COZWA using his personal funds.

He also denied that he was the author of several messages posted on social media attacking the party’s leadership, including Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“I was not given any funding by anyone to start COZWA. I founded it using money from my private businesses,” he said.

“I have never insulted VP Mnangagwa and there are people who just want to tarnish my relationship with the VP.

“I actually wish to see him because I also have great ideas like the Command Agriculture that I want to share with him.”

Mr Shoko said some people were not happy with the support that his COZWA project was receiving and now wanted to scuttle it.