Some Zanu-PF provincial committees want youth leaders who supported the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe to assume the position of National Secretary for Women’s Affairs to be expelled from the party and have started “disciplinary” procedures against them.The youth leaders are also being victimised for refusing to chant a controversial slogan that puts other members of the informal Presidium at par with the party’s First Secretary and President.
The purges have started with Harare and Mashonaland West where some of the youth leaders are being summoned to appear before disciplinary committees on charges insiders described as “frivolous”, in a bid to chuck them out of the party.
Youth leaders from other provinces said they were not being victimised, but they were aware of the situation facing their colleagues.
A Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meeting was convened in Harare yesterday where the fate of provincial Youth League chair Cde Godfrey Gomwe was on the agenda facing possible suspension for reportedly organising youths to attend the Mazowe meeting which endorsed Amai Mugabe recently without the blessing of the provincial leadership.
Cde Gomwe’s deputy, Cde Edison Takataka, was assaulted on Saturday allegedly at the instigation of provincial chairperson Cde Amos Midzi and Politburo member Cde Tendai Savanhu for backing the First Lady for the Women’s League post.
“It is true that soon after we endorsed the First Lady, the Harare provincial leaders convinced district chairpersons to pass a vote of no confidence in the provincial youth committee which I lead,” said Cde Gomwe in an interview yesterday.
“There is serious victimisation to the extent that they want to remove me from the youth executive. We have heard that they have written some letters to us with the intention of passing a vote of no confidence, but that has failed because they did not give us the letters. Today (yesterday), they (the provincial committee) said they endorsed the First Lady because of the pressure we gave them.”
In Mashonaland West, the provincial committee led by Cde Temba Mliswa suspended provincial youth chairperson Cde Vengai Musengi on Monday and asked him to appear before a disciplinary hearing on September 16 on various charges.
Some of the charges were traced to February this year, resulting in some party members wondering why they were being raised now. A petition is being circulated in the province targeting at least 28 signatures of the 40 post holders in the Youth League, calling for the passing of a vote of no confidence in Cde Musengi and his deputy Cde Joseph Nyariri.
The petition has so far attracted 19 signatures, with the majority of the youths said to be resisting the move.
Although Cde Musengi is being accused of gross misconduct and embezzlement of funds, party insiders from the province said he was being punished for endorsing Amai Mugabe and for refusing to support some members of the Presidium during the Youth League conference held in Harare earlier this month.
Cde Musengi said yesterday that the allegations being levelled against him were a cover-up by the provincial committee.
“The allegations are baseless,” he said. “I refused to endorse the Presidium during the youth conference in Harare. They were forcing me to endorse the Presidium, but I refused and only endorsed President Mugabe. Every other member of the Presidium must be voted for.”
A meeting for provincial members from Kadoma district ended in disarray yesterday after Cde Mliswa clashed with Cde Musengi.
The meeting held behind closed doors in Kadoma was called to canvass support and secure Cde Jimayi Muduvuri’s passage into the Central Committee without being contested at the expense of other aspirants Cde Leonard Hwenjere and Muzvezve legislator Cde Peter Haritatos.
Cde Mliswa queried Cde Musengi’s presence at the meeting, resulting in a heated exchange of words. “Cde Musengi, who is from Chegutu said being a provincial youth chairman he had as much right to be at the meeting in Kadoma just like the provincial chair Cde Mliswa who is not from Kadoma, but is from Hurungwe,” said a provincial committee member who attended the meeting.
The letter of suspension written to Cde Musengi by provincial secretary for administration Cde Kindness Paradza was copied to party national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa, national political commissar Cde Webster Shamu, Cde Mliswa, Mashonaland West disciplinary committee chairperson Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi and other senior members of the youth league in the province.