Sunday, 13 October 2019

WHY ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE BOSS WAS BOOTED OUT


 ZANU PF’S Matabeleland South youth league chairperson Washington Nkomo has been fingered in a US$12 000 extortion scam involving a Shangani miner using President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name. The scam has resulted in the arrest of four party members.

Nkomo, who was booted out of Zanu PF on Thursday after a vote-of-no-confidence was passed against him, also faces charges of forcibly grabbing mining claims in West Nicholson and Shangaani allegedly using Mnangagwa’s name.

The Matabeleland South youth league disciplinary committee passed a vote-of-no-confidence against Nkomo accusing him of bringing the party’s name into disrepute.

Recently, four Zanu PF youth members were arrested facing charges of extortion after they allegedly duped Priscilla Ncube at Tobo mining syndicate in Shangaani of US$12 000, claiming it was a protection fee for Mnangagwa to prevent seizure of the mine.

A Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya in September acquitted the youths, but the Zanu PF Matabeleland South youth league disciplinary committee insisted the chairperson had a case to answer.

“The provincial chairman was part of the team that demanded USD$12 000 together with one youth league member from Bulawayo and three other youth members from the party,” reads a letter to the party leadership spelling out why they suspended Nkomo on Thursday.

“In this case, they even used the name of President Mnangagwa.

“The Matabeleland South youth league vehicle was used to transport the extortion.

“The provincial chairman is alleged to have corruptly acquired mining claims using the name of the President and Matabeleland South youth league, especially in West Nicholson and Shangani where youths from outside the province have been in conflict with local youths.

“Resources in the form of fuel have been acquired from local sponsors of the party and youth programmes, which he has converted to own use.”

Matabeleland South youth league political commissar, Bolshevicks Ndlovu confirmed that they suspended Nkomo, saying they would follow procedure as they wanted to cleanse the party.

“The aforesaid is true, we want to separate individual interest and actions from party business,’’ he said.

However, Nkomo said he was yet to get a formal letter on the alleged suspension. He denied the charges, accusing his colleagues of politicking in order to boot him out.

“It’s all part of politics. Secondly, party processes have not been followed by the so-called disciplinary committee and as such, the vote-of-no-confidence against me is a nullity,” Nkomo said.

“I am still the chairperson of the province.”

This is not the first time that Zanu PF youth league leaders in Matabeleland have faced charges of extortion using the name of the president or the party even under the late president Robert Mugabe’s rule.

So, serious is the vice that in 2017, Bulawayo Zanu PF youth member Blessed Mushando went an extra mile and got himself arrested for allegedly defrauding a local businessman of $1 000 after duping him into sponsoring a non-existent funeral of provincial youth chairperson Khumbulani Mpofu.

Mpofu was alive.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu on Thursday said he was in the dark over the vote-of-no-confidence passed against the Matabeleland South youth provincial chairperson.

However, the province said it could no longer work with Nkomo and demanded that he returns party assets.

“We kindly request the party to order the withdrawal of party assets in the hands of Nkomo as this is bringing the name of the Matabeleland South youth league into disrepute, especially our branded party vehicle which is being used for unscrupulous purposes,” the youth league said.


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