YESTERDAY, rogue Zanu PF youths turned on NewsDay senior reporter Richard Chidza violently shoving and slapping him demanding that he reveals the source of the story regarding an alleged fall-out within the youth league leadership over plans to amend the party constitution to allow for the reintroduction of the women’s quota largely seen as meant to catapult First Lady Grace Mugabe into the presidium.
They were obviously agitated over the story and accused each other of leaking confidential minutes to the Press. That the Zanu PF youth league decided to take things into their own hands confirms what we have been writing all along that Zanu PF is dominated by rogues in its leadership who do not care about the future of the country, but themselves.
It is regrettable that the majority of the youths purportedly fighting to install Grace as the country’s leader are themselves struggling to survive as a result of President Robert Mugabe’s misgovernance, corruption and extravagance which has drained the country’s coffers dry.
The sooner they realise that the per diems they got on their trip to Russia are not enough to sustain them through, the better. It boggles the mind why the Zanu PF leadership will attack journalists after inviting them to cover their events. In fact, cases of abuse of journalists have been increasing especially against independent journalists.
We believe that Zanu PF must be warned against this practice, even though we are aware that what happened yesterday signals the culture of violence within the ruling party. The party youths, who are supposed to be the vanguard of Mugabe’s party, clearly need reorientation if they are going to further the ideology of the founders of the former liberation movement.
The Zanu PF youths should be engaged with how the party should regain its influence while retrieving its moral values. If a country is ruled or taken over by hardliners who promote violence, or who torture and beat up civilians, should they be allowed to get away with their behaviour? Should the Zanu PF regime be allowed to continue existing — just because they claim the immunity and privileges of a sovereign State?
It is about time Zimbabweans engaged in the discussion given the country is slowly moving towards an election, and we have no doubt that one of the party’s strategies is to threaten journalists so that they will stop carrying out their duty freely.
Zanu PF should be warned that the Press will cover events as they happen and without favour or let-up. Mugabe must ensure that there is rule of law and stop the culture of impunity affecting the peace of this country.
We strongly condemn the behaviour of rogue party youths and urge them to emulate exemplary leadership for the benefit of the citizens.