Fissures hit Yard


The newly-formed Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard), a brainchild of firebrand politician Temba Mliswa, has been hit by fissures, with its Harare province co-ordinator, Zechariah Mushawatu tendering his resignation.


Mushawatu claimed he was not comfortable with reports linking Mliswa to Zanu PF, although the former ruling party Mashonaland West chairman disputed claims he longed to re-join the party.

In a letter seen by NewsDay addressed to Mliswa dated November 7, Mushawatu said he did not want to be associated with any links to Zanu PF in any way.

“While I am strongly of the view that a youth organisation that embraces youths from different backgrounds and political parties is a noble idea, your history with Zanu PF has made it virtually impossible for me to build a vibrant provincial structure.

“Zanu PF is extremely unpopular in my province, where it has been losing parliamentary and local government seats since MDC was launched. The fact that it has failed to create the 2,2 million jobs it promised during campaigns leading up to the 2013 elections has made it especially unpopular among the youths, many of whom are jobless,” he said in reference to a disputed story that Mliswa wanted to be readmitted into Zanu PF.


He added: “Asking youths to join an organisation whose reputation has been tainted by the fact that some of its leaders are being associated with a political party they deem to be the cause of all their problems has proved to be a herculean task.”

However, Mliswa said there were no fissures and Mushawatu’s resignation could not be viewed as a serious issue.

“Yes, Mushawatu has resigned. I fail to understand the prominence his leaving has to anyone, considering that when an organisation is still at its inception stage, invariably one expects to see people dropping out here and there due to a number of varying factors, such as misunderstanding of the organisation they are joining, inability to perform tasks delegated, unfulfilled expectations among others,” he said. Mliswa said Mushawatu has been replaced by Edwell Hove.

Yard’s national administrator, Patson Dzamara said almost everyone in the group was linked to a political party and the organisation was about political tolerance.

“One, therefore, wonders why and how Mushawatu had to use his belonging to one political party and others to another as the reason for his resignation. He knew the composition and thrust of Yard from the onset. It goes against the gospel of tolerance we are preaching actually,” he said, adding that Mliswa himself has already cleared the air on the claims.