Zanu PF resurrects youth conferences

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Tendai Chirau

BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE ruling Zanu PF party has announced plans to resume its national youth conferences eight years after the last indaba was held.

Party youth secretary Tendai Chirau confirmed the development yesterday, saying the conference would be held in Harare from May 4 to 8.

Analysts said the ruling party had hastily organised the youth conference after realising that the youth were likely to be the game-changers in next year’s do-or-die harmonised elections.

The last Zanu PF youth conference was held during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era in 2014.

“We will have some of our affiliates which will be present who include the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Unions (Zicosu), Young Women for ED and  many others. We are also aware that there are vacancies that arose within the party as a result of the election. These vacancies will be filled according to the guidelines that will be given by the national political commissar,” Chirau said.

The conference will be held under the theme, Vision 2030: Revitalise, Empower, Involve the Youths.

“Those who want to contest in the national executive of the youth league should be below the age of 35 and should submit curriculum vitaes which state their political history to the district co-ordinators and all aspiring members should be registered voters, fully paid up members and have served at least five years at the district level.”

Analysts said the ruling party may have been forced to reintroduce the youth conference as the youth were the majority of the voting population.

“It is highly likely that the ruling party is now realising it needs to revamp and strengthen its youth league. The majority of the voters are young people and every party will do all it can to capture the youth constituency,” analyst Methuseli Moyo said.

Another political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said: “The Zanu PF is rethinking its strategy to remain in power. The party is going to the drawing board in terms of mobilisation.  First, it is to reorganise itself to see how its organs can be strengthened. But the move to  organise the youth could be a reflection of the internal power struggles within the ruling party, with those who feel threatened looking at mobilising the youth and other party organs to support  either their bid  to hold on to power  or to ascend to power.”

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