- PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s foot soldiers, the youth league, have demanded that its members be given stands across the country or else there will be no votes for Zanu PF.
Mugabe, who has fallen out of favour with war veterans, has of late shown he is banking on the youths to win the 2018 elections.
But Zanu PF secretary for youth, Kudzi Chipanga, in a leaked video that he now claims was doctored by his enemies, declared there would be no votes if the promise of stands was not delivered before the elections.
“Zanu PF rebelled in 1980 and we won our independence. In 2000, the party again rebelled to take back our land. Now the youth league has rebelled. We are not going to vote without stands,” he is heard saying in the almost half-a-minute-long video to rapturous applause.
Chipanga, in an interview with NewsDay yesterday, said while the youths expected the stands to be delivered before 2018, they would not turn to arm-twisting the party by withholding votes.
“That is doctored. It is the work of a few malicious individuals including Godfrey Gomwe (former Zanu PF Harare provincial youth league chairman). I was actually talking to him this morning and I indicated to him that he was on a drive to create a storm out of nothing,” he explained.
“I was asked a question by one of our youths, who wanted to know when they were going to be allocated the promised stands. The understanding we have from Local Government ministry officials is that the process to regularise the allocations is at an advanced stage. We expect, therefore, that before the 2018 elections, all our youths would have benefited from stands. But I must say that Zanu PF youths are ready to vote anytime even using their feet with or without stands.”
Gomwe was not available for comment, but a leaked conversation purportedly between him and Chipanga showed the expelled Zanu PF youth league leader arguing: “But you we have rebelled, the youths will not vote or was it a slip of the tongue?”
To this, Chipanga retorts: “By the time we go for elections, we will have our stands unless otherwise.”
Gomwe then seemingly takes Chipanga to task over the use of “opposition slogans” such as tajamuka, which has become a rallying cry for pro-democracy groups.
“Why are you using the word tajamuka, because the same word is used by the MDC and all pressure groups, who want to remove our President (Mugabe)?” Gomwe queries. Chipanga replies: “Tajamuka, (the) Zimbabwean flag, red T-shirts, etc, must never be surrendered to the opposition.”
Gomwe then dares Chipanga to also use the MDC-T’s open palm symbol, to which there is no response.