Zanu PF provincial youth executive members have been threatened with expulsion if they fail to each raise $30 000 for President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday bash set for drought-stricken Masvingo next week.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
This came as it emerged that Zanu PF youths in Manicaland had so far managed to raise $3 000 just a few days before the event.
Zanu PF national youth league political commissar Innocent Hamandishe told a Manicaland youth executive meeting in Mutare on Tuesday that it was unacceptable for any province to fail to raise funds for Mugabe’s bash while also issuing a stern warning against any attempts to disturb the event.
“We are expecting Manicaland to send many people for Mugabe’s birthday bash because you are near Masvingo. We are going to give you one bus, but that does not mean that you should not send your own buses,’’ he said.
“We are expecting you to behave and if we see people within your province misbehaving in Masvingo, trying to heckle officials, we will summon your executive. We know there are people who might have a different agenda. Your province is expected to raise the required money. Failure to do so can see some people being fired.’’
Acting Zanu PF Manicaland youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno assured the national executive that the province would raise the required amount through a dinner dance to be held at a hotel tomorrow.
“We are assuring you that everything is in order. Last week, we were busy giving companies letters pleading with them to assist us and this week, we are now making follow-ups and we are going to have a dinner dance where tables are going to be sold,’’ he said.
But some of the youths accused the provincial executive led by Samuel Undenge of sabotaging their fundraising initiatives by not forcing companies to make donations towards the event.
“We are in trouble at the moment and we also need the help of our local leadership. We are not saying that they should be at the forefront, but we also need their voice to add weight to our fundraising campaigns,’’ one youth leader said.
However, Manicaland vice-chairperson Joseph Mujati said: “There might be problems here and there, but we are going to discuss it at our provincial co-ordinating committee meeting in Mutare this Sunday,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF national deputy secretary for youth Kudzi Chipanga during the Mutare meeting backtracked on the issue of making February 21, Robert Mugabe Day, saying it should be instead Youth Day.
“The issue of the 21st February Movement which we have been making noise all along to make it a national holiday, we no longer want it to be Robert Mugabe Day, but we now want it to be Youth Day because we have no other day on our calendar,’’ he said.
“It shall be on that day we are going celebrate the legacy of our President Robert Mugabe. Workers will not go to work on the day to celebrate the life of our President. Youths play a very important role in the country, so we should have a chance to celebrate them. We have written our request to relevant authorities and very soon we are going to have that day.’’