Source: Zanu PF youths target ministers – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 25, 2016
MILITANT Zanu PF youths have warned Cabinet ministers and MPs who sabotage activities initiated by the youth league that they risked losing their positions ahead of the 2018 elections.
BY NUNURAI JENA/RICHARD CHIDZA/OBEY MANAYITI
The threats were made by Zanu PF deputy youth secretary Kudzanai Chipanga while addressing party youths at Chinhoyi University of Technology on Saturday.
Chipanga’s remarks came amid reports that some Cabinet ministers and Zanu PF MPs were plotting to sabotage the one-million-men march planned by the youth league next month, by either refusing to fund it or attaching a factional element to discredit the event.
The march, according to the organisers, was in solidarity with President Robert Mugabe’s leadership, although some party insiders claimed it was meant to spite Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed the veteran politician.
Some party sources still contend the march was being co-ordinated by Zanu PF’s G40, as a factional reaction to Mugabe’s meeting with war veterans early this month.
Chipanga, believed to be part of G40 — which is purportedly led by First Lady Grace Mugabe, has clashed with some war veterans reportedly rooting for Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed Mugabe in the intricate Zanu PF succession race.
“There are some MPs who want to be clever by distancing themselves during youth activities like the march, but want the help of the same youths when election time comes because they would be counting on us to campaign for them . . . This time, we are going to vet who was co-operating with us. Some will fall by the wayside,” Chipanga warned.
He took a swipe at ministers “who do not take youth issues seriously” in their ministries and cited Land and Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora, Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira, Mines minister Walter Chidakwa and Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo as some of the “culprits”.
While Chombo, Mupfumira and Mombeshora could not be reached for comment as their mobile phones went unanswered, Chidakwa denied allegations of sabotaging youth programmes.
He said the youths should follow laid down procedures to apply for mining permits and stop pointing fingers.
“If they put an application for a place which is being occupied, then it will be illegal for me to give them, but unless if they identified an open space to prospect, then they should be the first ones to apply then they will be considered,” Chidakwa said.
Chipanga said that the Grace-led Zanu PF Women’s League was supportive of the planned march.
But Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said ministers and legislators were not under any obligation to support youth activities.
“I have not heard him (Chipanga) say that and I cannot rely on hearsay. Our understanding is that the march is a Youth League programme in support and appreciation of President Mugabe’s leadership. We cannot say no to that and are obliged to support it,” Khaya Moyo said.
Pressed on whether it was proper for a youth leader to threaten ministers, the Zanu PF spokesperson retorted: “This is a Youth League matter, why should anyone be forced?”
Chipanga also accused the whole Cabinet of doing a disservice to the country by “not doing their work properly”, thereby tarnishing Mugabe’s reputation.
“Ministers were appointed by the President to work, but they are always found wanting . . . I don’t know whether they want President Mugabe to do all the work,” Chipanga retorted.
Mashonaland West Zanu PF youth chairperson Tawanda Rupiya concurred and chided new provincial lands officer Charles Mhaka for refusing to allocate land to youths.
Rupiya accused Mhaka of “wasting his time entertaining whites’ land issues”.
He also appealed to Chombo to “rein in police officers” disturbing illegal gold panning activities in the province.
Meanwhile, underfire Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Patrick Zhuwao yesterday also threatened to “unleash youths” on party members plotting to oust Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere.
“I want to explain to you that we have some among us who are bent on deviating and disrespecting the commissar (Kasukuwere). We will deal with those who say they do not want the commissar because they don’t want the youths to benefit.
“We dealt with (Christopher) Mutsvangwa in Mashonaland West because he failed to understand that Kasukuwere was selected by President Mugabe. So, what I am saying to you Cde Chipanga, Kasukuwere came from the Youth League and if you have some members of the party refusing to listen to him as an appointee of the President, then the Youth League should deal with such people in their respective provinces,” Zhuwao said.
Calls for Kasukuwere’s resignation or removal from the politburo have been growing, with some Zanu PF-aligned youth groups and war veterans saying the youthful Mt Darwin South MP “is not ideologically schooled” to lead the party in the commissar’s position.