Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
The ruling Zanu PF party recently suspended Cde Pupurai Togarepi from his position as the Secretary for Youth Affairs and his deputy Lewis Matutu and expelled Godfrey Tsenengamu, the former secretary for Commissariat, for indiscipline. Cde Togarepi remains a Central Committee member, while Cde Matutu was relegated to an ordinary card carrying member. Cde Matutu is undergoing training at Chitepo School of Ideology for three months and will be allowed to contest for any position in the party after the 12-month suspension.
Our Senior Reporter Joseph Madzimure (JM) interviewed Zanu PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu (OM) on a number of issues relating to the suspension and expulsion of the Youth League executive members.
JM: Since the party suspended Cdes Togarepi and Matutu and eventually expelled Mr Tsenengamu, when is the party going to fill the vacant posts?
OM: Now that we have gone through the disciplinary issues, we are now going to ensure that the youth league is re-organised in such a way that we have patriotic youths who will adhere to the principles and rules of the party, not renegades, we are not going to tolerate that.
JM: Do you think the issues of corruption raised by the suspended and expelled members were genuine?
OM: If people have genuine issues they want to raise, there is a process and procedure that should be followed. We have institutions in this country, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, among others, that deal with all those issues.
We are not a chaotic organisation. Zanu PF has always won elections because of discipline. We won the war against the oppressors because of discipline. We cannot be told what to do by novices, people who can do anything because they have been asked to do something by some elements with vested interest. I think we are now exercising our rights to put people in line with the party constitution. We cannot have a situation where people are just maligned without any shred of evidence, by people who are not really a factor in our administration of the party and the laws of the country.
JM: When is the party going to fill the vacancies created in the Youth League?
OM: It’s a constitutional process. The President has the prerogative powers to decide. He is the one who appoints members of the Politburo. He is the one who has the prerogative to decide on who gets where and considering other factors such as regional and national considerations.
JM: Were the youths executive members elected, or co-opted in line with the party constitution?
OM: Once a renegade, you will always remain one. We have actually been looking at our records, some of the former members making noise were not even properly elected into those positions. They just grabbed them.
That is why party members from Mashonaland Central are raising some of these issues, saying this particular individual (Tsenengamu) was never elected in the first place.
So, they are just agreeing with the decision taken by the Politburo that we are dealing with a renegade who imposed himself on the people of Mashonaland Central.
Now, the selection of members would be procedural. During the new dispensation, a lot happened. President Mnangagwa was very accommodative. He said let’s not interfere with structures that were in place. He gave himself enough time to deal with structural issues and this is the time we are doing that. The Secretary for Commissariat, Cde Victor Matemadanda, is moving around the country mobilising people to join the party and also urging them to conform to party ethos and discipline and the constitution. Otherwise we will end up having divisive elements like what we nearly had in the past few weeks.
JM: What is your take on Cde Lewis Mututu who has completed the first phase of rehabilitation at Chitepo School of Ideology?
OM: He adhered to the decision made by the Politburo and we hope he does it wholeheartedly. He is the one who is benefiting from this exercise. He is a young man. The future is for the youths who are disciplined. You cannot be better than your superior, no matter how clever and important you think you are. It is up to him to prepare a good future for himself. He must follow the constitution, be disciplined and follow the direction given by the party leadership. You do not grab the position, but you earn it. You do not have to fire someone to get into a position.
The kind of behaviour exhibited by Tsenengamu is the most reactionary behaviour and usually done by people that we refer to as renegades. We are urging our youths to learn from the current leadership for their future to be comfortable.