Thursday, 19 May 2016


PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is understood to have directed the ZANU-PF main wing to take over the organisation of the Youth League’s “million man” march, set to take place next week to avert a potential crisis after the event became a new frontier for factional hostilities simmering in the ruling party.

Events leading to the march took a surprise turn at the weekend with members of the main wing from various provinces suddenly announcing their interest. Before the change of tact, the march was being organised by ZANU-PF youths ostensibly to reaffirm the league’s support for President Mugabe.

The planned march had initially been proposed as a vote of no confidence in Vice President Emmerson Munangagwa, thought to be positioning himself to succeed President Mugabe.
Youths belonging to Generation 40 (G40), a faction comprising youthful politicians seeking to renew ZANU-PF from within, had appeared to gain an upper hand over youths from Team Lacoste, another faction reportedly rooting for Mnangagwa to succeed President Mugabe.

The squabbles had left Mnangagwa’s camp heavily decimated after Pupurai Togarepi, who is Mnangagwa’s chief lieutenant in the youth league, had a vote of no confidence passed on him at the instigation of his deputy, Kudzanai Chipanga, a purported G40 supporter.
Chipanga has since taken over the reins of the youth league in the interim and has been the face behind the march.

Mnangagwa backers have been alleging victimisation, claiming that the march was targeted at Mnangagwa.
Other key forces in the ruling party such as war veterans, who have openly declared their dislike for G40, had threatened to boycott the march.

But last week, President Mugabe reportedly ordered the ex-combatants to join the march.
This was confirmed last week by Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) national spokesman, Douglas Mahiya, who told the press that war veterans would attend the march only because the president had ordered them to do so.

“It is no longer a million-man march, but a parade that has been called by the President. Now as military people, we have decided that we will take part because it is our leader who has called on us and not some ideologically bankrupt group with ulterior motives,” a local daily quoted Mahiya as having said on Wednesday last week.

However, war veterans would appear to sing a different chorus at their retreat in Chinhoyi three days later on Saturday, with some of them saying the ex-combatants were still not interested in taking part.

The former freedom fighters, numbering more than 500, gathered in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province, on Saturday and stressed that they were unhappy with the tension between them and the youth league, particularly Chipanga who recently declared war on them and mocked them publicly as old and sickly. financial gazette


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