via Zanu PF’s youth leader digs in – DailyNews Live by Mugove Tafirenyika 6 APRIL 2014
Zanu PF Youth League boss Absolom Sikhosana has rubbished calls for him to resign to pave way for young blood.
The 61-year-old Sikhosana told the Daily News in an interview yesterday that while he was appointed by President Robert Mugabe, it would be unwise for the youth wing to be headed by a youth in the strictest sense of the word as it would become “a child-headed family”.
Said Sikhosana: “Whoever told you at the Daily News that one has to be a youth to lead the youths must be sick. As a country, we are battling to help child-headed families, yet you think they should be left to lead themselves.
“Moreover, it is the prerogative of the president to appoint the boss of the (youth) league and nobody should tell me when to step aside.”
There is a feeling among youths in the ruling party that Sikhosana has had his time and that at 61, he no longer represents their aspirations.
Mugove Chisvo, national vice president of the Zanu PF-affiliated Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) said youths should be left to lead their wings in politics.
“While experienced hands are certainly required to give direction, they should be given space to take the lead because they do not only have the intellectual capacity but also the much needed energy to run around,” Chisvo said.
The youths argue Sikhosana can be deployed to other portfolios in the politburo to give the youth league an opportunity to effectively challenge their political rivals in the battle of ideas.
The youths said it was imperative that this had to happen for Zanu PF to have life after the next elections.
But Varaidzo Mupunga, Zanu PF provincial youth member, believes the youth wing needs the experience of Sikhosana.
“Youths need elderly guidance and hand-holding to avoid a situation where young leaders make politically suicidal decisions,” Mupunga said.
Other political parties are headed by fairly younger leaders, with Morgan Tsvangirai’s youth wing led by 36-year-old Solomon Madzore, while the Welshman Ncube’s MDC youths are led by 29-year-old Gideon Mandaza.
Tererai Sithole, secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, said Sikhosana’s continued leadership of Zanu PF youths was tragic.
A Zanu PF youth, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Daily News they could not go into the 2018 elections with Sikhosana as the youth leader because then he will be 65.
“That will be embarrassing and president Mugabe should correct that anomaly,” said the youth.