BY BLESSED MHLANGA/OBEY MANAYITI
ZANU PF is poised for an explosive politburo meeting today following an exposé by its youth league, which on Monday named several top party members and Cabinet ministers as fuelling corruption and threatened to bar some of them from entering the party headquarters until they have been cleared.
The youth league has also threatened to spill more beans at the party’s central committee meeting scheduled for Friday to pressure President Emerson Mnangagwa to act on his alleged corrupt lieutenants.
Among those named was secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, who works full time at the Zanu PF headquarters.
Mpofu yesterday scoffed at the allegations levelled against him, describing the Zanu PF youth league as attention-seekers.
“Honestly, there are so many ways of seeking relevance and this is not one of them. They could have looked for better ways of seeking relevance and not these kind of things that they are doing,” he said.
Party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, said he would respond to the allegations after the politburo meeting.
“I will comment after a politburo meeting we are having tomorrow (today). Currently, I am out of Harare and I have not been briefed of this. Maybe we will be briefed in the politburo and we will address the issue after that if we are briefed,” he said.
This comes amid reports that the youths are being used by a faction within the party seeking to take over control of powerful levers of the ruling party and elbow out perceived enemies.
Mpofu, who was deployed to lead the secretariat at the Zanu PF headquarters, said the youths have no capacity to block him from entering his party office, adding he was only answerable to his principal, Mnangagwa.
“Whose party are they talking about? They can only do so on what they own, on what is theirs. I am in the office and there is nothing like that and it will never happen. I am just hearing it and they haven’t come to me directly, I am just reading about it,” Mpofu said, adding that he had no problem with anybody in Zanu PF and he would focus on his role of uniting and consolidating the party administratively.
He advised those who had axes to grind to find better ways of doing so than what the youths did.
But Zanu PF youth league deputy secretary Lewis Matutu vowed to continue piling up pressure on corrupt bigwigs to be rooted out.
“President Mnangagwa is not like the former President (Robert Mugabe), who always accused people of attacking him when his appointees are accused of corruption. He (Mnangagwa) listens to young people and acts after listening. We are confident that he will listen,” he said.
Insiders said Mnangagwa would be under pressure to censure the youths, and many in the party allege that he could be behind the exposé.
“The youth can’t come out and attack the appointees of the President, to have the nerve to block a member of the presidium from coming to office, naming them on national TV as corruption ring leaders without getting clearance. If they acted on their own, then ED will act,” a source said.
Another source alleged that those named in the exposé were mounting a major fight back against Matutu.
Small-scale miners’ boss Henrietta Rushwaya, named in the alleged corruption ring, has since warned that she will be pursuing legal action against Matutu and youth commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu.
“Those who sent them will surely help them pay legal fees, I hope because I will be taking them to court for defamation,” she said.
Taking to social media, Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena, who was also named as corrupt, described the move as taking the party back to the days of former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
“We’ve backslided (sic) to the Grace era, where G40 youths used extortion against citizens to avoid public lynchings. A country can’t be dictated to by a bunch of youths at a presser. Do they understand the consequences of alleging corruption by the head of the central bank?” he asked.