ZANU PF’s factional turbulence reached a new high on Tuesday when Manicaland party youths turned their knives on Environment, Water and Climate minister Oppah Muchinguri, whom they want kicked out of the party for allegedly fuelling divisions and clandestinely campaigning for Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/KENNETH NYANGANI
Zanu PF youths in Manicaland on Tuesday accused Muchinguri of working underground to fan divisions before passing a resolution to have her dismissed from the party.
Manicaland provincial youth leader, Mubuso Chinguno told NewsDay yesterday that the resolution was passed after serious consideration of allegations levelled against Muchinguri.
“We passed a resolution to have Muchinguri ousted as the youth league in Manicaland province because of her behaviour. There were many reasons and one of them is that she participated in an illegal meeting, where they were recorded plotting the downfall of other party members. Some of the people she was conniving with have since been removed, so that should also apply to her,” he said.
“Some of the people, who participated in that illegal meeting, which was later leaked, have already been dismissed. These are people like Kelvin Manyengavana, who was previously the youth provincial chairman, and executive members Getrude Mutandi and Washington Ziwiwi, among others. They should be treated equally.”
Muchinguri — widely believed to be the ruling party’s Manicaland “godmother” after the expulsion of former Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa — has been strongly linked to the Mnangagwa faction and is touted as
one of the VP’s chief strategists in the succession matrix.
The G40 faction in Zanu PF, which reportedly has the backing of First Lady Grace Mugabe, was allegedly purging key Mnangagwa allies.
This comes after several Mnangagwa allies were booted out of the party or suspended in a systematic cull.
Chinguno said the resolution would be presented to the provincial co-ordinating committee meeting to be held at the weekend.
“We are hopeful that it will pass,” he said.
Muchinguri has also been close to the now suspended former Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa, the wife of fired War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa.
Efforts to get a comment from Muchinguri were fruitless, as she was reportedly attending marathon meetings.
Manicaland provincial deputy chairman, Joseph Mujati said if tabled, the resolution would be discussed.
“I don’t know about that resolution and that’s the honest truth. However, youths can make resolutions as the youth executive and obviously these will be tabled and discussed,” he said.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo insisted that he would only comment after receiving a report about the issue.
“I cannot comment on what is being said over the phone or hearsay. I want to see the report first which has reasons for their resolution. For now, I cannot comment,” he said.
The renewed targeting of perceived Mnangagwa allies comes as the national youth executive is pushing hard to make the planned one million men march a success.
The national youth league will be visiting provinces to ensure structures abide by the order to convene in Harare on a date to be advised, but most likely in May, for the march.
Zanu PF deputy youth secretary Kudzi Chipanga yesterday claimed a clique within Zanu PF was trying to sabotage the planned march.
“For those that support President [Robert] Mugabe, the one million men march is well received, while those who wanted to oust the President through unorthodox means are sad. Those who support the President are excited. On Saturday we will be in Mashonaland West and Sunday in Manicaland for the solidarity march,” he said.
During the Tuesday meeting in Mutare, which was attended by national youth league political commissar Innocent Hamandishe, some youths accused some of their leaders of sabotaging their fundraising initiatives.
Hamandishe ordered Manicaland to raise $50 000 to ferry 100 000 youths from the province for the march in solidarity with Mugabe.
Manicaland youth league member, Kudzi Madhara said they were facing a mammoth task raising the required money, as most Cabinet ministers from the province were not supportive or co-operating.
“We want to know that as at national level, do you have a platform where you speak with ministers because they do not listen to us? Last time we did not get much support from the ministers when we were fundraising for the 21th February Movement,” he said.