via Bigwigs buy into youth polls | The Herald August 11, 2014 by Brian Chitemba
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday launched a scathing attack on Zanu-PF Politburo and Central Committee members sucked in a vote-buying scandal that rocked the just ended 6th national Youth League conference, describing those guilty of giving and receiving money in return for votes as “political prostitutes” and “rubbish”.Officially closing the conference which stretched into Saturday morning until around 5am yesterday, the President had no kind words for politicians who abused their money and those who allowed themselves to be bought, used and manipulated.
President Mugabe’s verbal lashing came amid reports that some Politburo and Central Committee members were involved in midnight meetings splashing money in a frantic bid to sway the vote in the Youth League in favour of their preferred candidates.
The senior politicians are reportedly divided along factional lines led by those seeking to succeed President Mugabe.
One senior Politburo member reportedly addressed youths from Matabeleland South province urging them to ‘’vote wisely’’, while eight provincial chairpersons and a number of MPs were also seen caucasing with their provinces to influence the vote.
The President commended the youths for successfully withstanding the pressure from the top.
‘’I know there have been hitches, ndinoziva zvangu kuti vakuru vamwe vakamboedza apa nepapa, some monies and so on. Get away from that! Mukaita tsika yekujaira kupihwa mari and you want to act nekuti ndatopihwa mari kana ndisina kupihwa mari hapana chandinoita, you are spoiled already,’’ he said.
‘’To me you don’t deserve to be a youth leader at all. If you allow other people to buy you and if you have voted because ndakapihwa mari nangana kuti ndivhote nepapa nemutowo uyu ende ukavhotawo nemutowo iwowo nekuti wapihwa mari, goodness me, you are rubbish.
‘’You are just rubbish, dirty rubbish as the person who has given you money both of you. The giver and the given are alike but we know, you have emerged, most of you are not like that but some are like that we know and kumusoro kwedu kune vane tsika iyoyo, vanonotsvaga mari yekuti vatenge kuti vadiwe, kutenga kuti udiwe. You are not political prostitutes, are you? Some people will want to make you political prostitutes,’’ President Mugabe said.
The President warned the new Youth League executive against being used as puppets by some Politburo members saying each organ of the party should co-operate with others.
“These are your leaders obey them tomorrow. We will respect them from the top and we will ensure that you will not be made puppets by those of us who are in the Central Committee or Politburo, aiwa hatidi kudaro. There should be co-operation, good co-operation between the Youth League and the elders of the party, you and the Women’s League muchico-operata zvakanaka that’s what we look forward to,’’ President Mugabe amid thunderous applause from the over 3 000 delegates.
He then warned senior party officials from destroying Zanu-PF urging them to lead the youths by example.
The President also spoke strongly against corruption saying youths should be disciplined and patient when investing in business because it takes time for companies to make profit.
President Mugabe said some young professionals who were well educated have failed to run successful banks because of greed as they award themselves loans to build lavish homes and buy cars using depositors’ funds.
He said Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development have since approved a rescue package for troubled banks which are facing liquidation.
The President urged the youths to cherish the country’s hard-won independence and preserve the legacy of freedom and ownership of natural resources.
Zimbabweans, President Mugabe said, should continue to cherish the struggle and sacrifices made by the people which saw the birth of a new Zimbabwe from Southern Rhodesia in April 1980.
“We derive our strength from unity; that unity still exists. We have forgotten we were two once upon a time. The journey we have walked since independence as one. The struggle we fought made us one, we are Zimbabweans who cherish the struggle of our people.
“We are a youth with a legacy; legacy of freedom and independence; legacy of ownership of our natural resources; legacy that Southern Rhodesia was born again in April 1980. This will be celebrated every year in the future,” said President Mugabe.