AXED Zanu PF youth leaders yesterday poured their hearts out, exposing President Robert Mugabe’s divide-and-rule tactics, which they say he has used to maintain his stranglehold on the ruling party, while accusing the veteran leader of personalising the former liberation movement.
In a 12-page document addressed to Mugabe, the youths operating under the Save Zanu PF Campaign banner, revealed how the Zanu PF leader used them to hound former Vice-President Joice Mujuru out of the party in 2014 using trumped up charges of witchcraft and assassination plots.
They also claimed the 92-year-old party leader recently attempted, but failed to use them as “dogs of war” to blackmail Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and rule him out of the succession race.
“The recent utterances and actions by the party president in his birthday interview smack of him portraying himself as the party’s alpha and omega, with no one having the capacity to lead the organisation,” the statement signed by four of the expelled youths reads.
“Of late, we have noted the party president and First secretary Cde Robert Mugabe seems to have intended to privatise Zanu PF.
“It has now become a crime in the party to criticise wrongs and you will be accused of undermining the first family despite the fact that there is no such constitutional provisions, which talk of the first or last families, as the party is about individuals as members coming together under the banner of the organisation.”
The youths are part of the 16 Zanu PF members expelled by the politburo last week on charges of indiscipline, fomenting factionalism, attacking First Lady Grace Mugabe and clandestinely campaigning for Mnangagwa to take over the Presidency.
The disgruntled youth leaders include Godfrey Tsenengamu (Mashonaland Central), Vengai Musengi (Mashonaland West), Khumbulani Mpofu (Bulawayo), Edmore Samambwa (Midlands), Tamuka Nyoni (Matabeleland North) and Washington Nkomo (Matabeland South), among others.
The youths claimed Mugabe was in the habit of playing divisive, manipulative and arm-twisting politics and being the real force behind the creation of factions in the party “as a grand strategy to assist in his hold on the party leadership and power without genuinely and sincerely addressing critical issues affecting” Zanu PF.
“We have learnt that the party president is the real force behind all problems facing the party though he pretends otherwise,” the youths said.
“Personally we have experience in a replay of the 2014 tactic when in 2014 he sent us out to confront Mai Mujuru and those he regarded as rebels, while he played smart, unaware and uninvolved.
“We know for a fact that he is also behind the current turbulence and disorder in the party as also evidenced by his ill-treatment of freedom fighters, despite them being the ones who uplifted him to the party helm at the Chimoio congress of 1977.
“We have learnt that the party president has been surviving on divide and rule tactics and when we refused to be hired to confront Cde Mnangagwa, we were declared rebels and a project is now in full throttle to silence us for good.
“We have also noted that the party president and first secretary’s tendency to set up his fellow comrades against each other so to shift focus from his wayward and self-aggrandisement leadership of the party and we doubt his sincerity in promoting cohesion and harmony in the party, as he seems to enjoy leading and presiding over a divided membership, which in turn promotes his continued rule in the party.
“Cde party president, can it be true that all others whom you were with in the trenches during the liberation struggle the likes of Margaret Dongo, Dumiso Dabengwa, Joice Mujuru, Simba Makoni and even the late Edgar Tekere, have rebelled against the cause of the masses, the party and the revolution and have all strayed from the correct path of the revolution and that only you have never strayed and remain ideologically correct? How has this been so?”
The youths also lashed out at Grace, accusing her of usurping State power for selfish gains.
“We would also want to partly accept responsibility for having been accomplices in propping her (Grace) up in 2014 when we went around the country featuring at her rallies in the belief that she meant good for the party and the whole country until recently when we discovered otherwise. We want to take this opportunity to apologise to the nation, the party and its membership for having unknowingly been part to inviting a menace into the party and revolution,” they said.
But party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said: “I can’t comment on what is said by expelled people, they are wasting their time.”