FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe has reportedly solicited the support of a group of Zanu PF youth league chairpersons fired by the ruling party on allegations of gross misconduct and insulting President Robert Mugabe.
Source: Grace Mugabe courts Zanu PF ‘infamous seven’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 6, 2016
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
As the fluid Zanu PF internal battles continue unabated, insiders said Grace had turned to the septet, as another faction known as G40, which has hitherto pushed for her to take over from ailing 92-year-old Mugabe, disintegrates.
The seven — Edmore Samambwa (Midlands), Godwin Gomwe (Harare), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West), Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), Tamuka Nyoni (Matabeleland North), Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo) and Washington Nkomo (Matabeleland South) — were kicked out in early March, as part of a continuing purge stemming from vicious factional fights for power in the ruling party.
“Grace has approached them and they are working with her to rescue the party from this group of mercenaries called G40. The approach has not been direct because they are working with Jimayi Muduvuri (Zanu PF central committee member) and Innocent Dzapasi Tizora (State Residences director). They are our direct links to the First Lady,” one of the seven youths said on condition of anonymity.
“Another senior leader in this group is Pupurai Togarepi (youth league politburo secretary). He has been meeting them a lot.”
Togarepi confirmed meeting the expelled chairpersons, but said it was just “routine”.
“I meet them a lot and I meet a lot of people within that group of people, particularly those that fall within the youth league. It is part of my job,” he said.
“As for the people you are talking about, I have just heard rumours that they have written letters to the appeals committee to have their cases reviewed, but I have not seen the letters.”
But Samambwa was coy when contacted for comment.
“So far nothing concrete has come through, but we are waiting for the First Lady to return. It could be a plan (to work with Grace), but there is not much to say now,” he said.
Muduvuri confirmed he was trying to intercede on behalf of the group.
“These youths love their party and their silence since the Press conference is testimony to that. We will give a report to the President soon, maybe next week,” he said.
Tizora was not available for comment.
NewsDay has it on good authority that Muduvuri, who has reportedly been traversing the country’s provinces calling for unity within Zanu PF and claiming he was working on orders from Grace, has been funding the youths.
“Muduvuri funded the group’s Press conference last month and the T-shirts they were wearing,” the sources said.
Another senior youth leader said Grace seems to have “seen the light”.
“I have no evidence, but I have heard there has been some communication. However, I know for a fact that Tizora is working with these guys because he also seems to have realised that he was being led up the garden path by G40. Normally, Tizora takes directives or works on behalf of the President (Robert Mugabe) and the First Lady, unless dynamics have changed in the past few days,” the impeccable source said.
The seven youth leaders were, however, at the forefront of stampeding former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and other party stalwarts prior to and in the aftermath of the December 2014 congress before the G40 faction emerged to oppose Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid for the Zanu PF leadership in anticipation of Mugabe’s departure.