VP camp falls further behind

HARARE - In a development that spells more bad news for the Zanu PF faction rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Robert Mugabe last night unilaterally installed Kudzanai Chipanga as the new leader of the party’s key youth league structure.

The surprising pronouncement follows the thuggish removal of Pupurai Togarepi as the former liberation movement’s youth league boss earlier this year, amid claims that he belongs to the Mnangagwa camp — and as Zanu PF’s ugly factional and succession wars continue to escalate.

Chipanga, who was Togarepi’s deputy and has been acting as youth league boss until now, is linked to the party faction going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), which is rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe. Togarepi has since revealed that his tiff with Chipanga and other youth league members who are aligned to the G40 started when he refused to support the expulsion of former women’s league spokesperson Monica Mutsvangwa, the wife of war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa — who is said to be a leading Mnangagwa supporter.

Over the past two years, many senior Zanu PF officials suspected of supporting the embattled VP have either been suspended or expelled from the warring ruling party, as his party enemies work to make sure that he does not have a sniff at the presidency.

Addressing party youths in Harare yesterday, Mugabe — battling to contain swelling public anger against him — also launched a savage attack against the judiciary, in a move that was widely interpreted as trying to force judges from allowing demonstrations to take place, which have unnerved his government.

The attack evoked bad memories from 2001 when the government purged white judges from the Bench, including the then chief justice Anthony Gubbay, for ruling against Zimbabwe’s chaotic land reform programme.

Speaking a few hours after he arrived back in the country from Dubai, where he had spent three days amid swirling rumours regarding his health, Mugabe told the gathered Zanu PF youths that courts were being negligent by allowing demonstrations to go ahead.

“Of course, we can’t allow them (the opposition) to continue with these violent demonstrations unimpeded. Enough is enough,” he thundered.

The rant came as police invoked Statutory Instrument 101A last Thursday, banning demonstrations in central Harare for two weeks, and on the eve of a mega demonstration planned by 18 opposition parties to press for much-needed electoral reforms ahead of Zimbabwe’s eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

A week earlier, the High Court had allowed the same 18 parties to hold their demonstration, which was ruthlessly crushed by the stretched police.

Even after the High Court had ruled that the protest march could go ahead, riot police — backed by armoured trucks and water cannons — indiscriminately fired volleys of teargas at all and sundry, battering and chasing groups of determined opposition supporters.

Mugabe assured the Zanu PF youths yesterday that there would not be any Arab Spring in Zimbabwe.

“I am happy that the ministry of ICT and Courier Services is drafting a law to guide the proper use of social media. Our youths should learn from youths in China, Cuba and Russia that economic success stories have resulted from proper and constructive use of ICT. Social media should never be used negatively,” he said.

Mugabe, in power since 1980 when Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain, is facing the biggest challenge to his 36-year rule which critics say has been catastrophic.

Zimbabwe is currently deep in the throes of a debilitating economic crisis which has given rise to waves of protests and riots by ordinary citizens who blame public sector corruption and the government’s policies for the current rot.

In July, riots broke out at the border town of Beitbridge when angry traders protested against the government’s ill-advised decision to ban the importation of basic consumer goods.

More than 70 people were arrested in the aftermath of those riots which destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, including the burning of a warehouse belonging to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.

The riots later spread to Harare where police once again used force to break a demonstration called by commuter omnibus drivers and touts to protest too many police roadblocks on the roads, which they claimed had become extortionate.

Mugabe is also struggling to key his Zanu PF party together as infighting has created ructions which saw the war veterans serving him with divorce papers in July.

War vets have been one of Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s strongest pillars of support over the past five decades, playing particularly significant roles to keep the nonagenarian in power in the hotly-disputed 2000 and 2008 elections which were both marred by serious violence and the murder of hundreds of opposition supporters.

Meanwhile, Mugabe had joked with Zanu PF supporters at the Harare International Airport earlier that he had once again “resurrected”, following rumours of his supposed death.

“Yes, I was dead, it’s true I was dead. I resurrected as I always do. Once I get back to my country, I am real,” Mugabe said, soon after touching down at the airport. This followed crass reports on social media and discredited websites that he had died.

Mugabe’s meeting with Zanu PF youths yesterday also came at a time that long-suffering Zimbabweans have been savaging the ruling party’s worsening tendencies to resort to thuggery, excuses, insults and character assassination in its desperate bid to remain in power.

Analysts and opposition parties have also implored Mugabe and his party to work hard to fix their mess, instead of intimidating, battering and blaming critics for their misrule of the past 36 years.

Over the past few weeks, Mugabe’s panicking government has been resorting more and more to its coercive apparatus against dissenting voices, while sycophantic State media has cranked up its propaganda and smear blitz campaigns against Zanu PF critics.

Amid all this, disgruntled war veterans have warned Mugabe of worsening civil unrest in the country if Zanu PF bigwigs continue with their mindless bloodletting, as well as their current crackdown on dissenting voices, including former freedom fighters.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News last week, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, Victor Matemadanda, also told bluntly accused Mugabe of having “failed the nation”.

His criticism of Mugabe followed the nonagenarian’s fierce attack on war veterans in June — when he threatened to deal severely with the disenchanted ex-combatants who stand accused of plotting to stampede the 92-year-old out of power and working to elevate Mnangagwa to the highest political office in the land.

Comments (8)

Thi is nothing unusual.the removal of proper caders in preference to relatives n stoogies .Mengistu s aeroplane landing in Harare was said to be full of his ministers only to see its all his relatives n party thugs.Ngwena must now calculate his reasns for being in politics n country leadership.Its his duty now,this time to move in n correct the wrongs of Mr Mugabe ,since 1980 to this day.This will allow him the opportunity to also plot his legacy n be forgiven for being part of this faild gorvenence.Ngwena shuld know the plate wont be delivered at his bedroom door.Yu initiate n work for it and succeed.not handover.There wont be any handover.Other than this yu sink wth yo master.

viola gwena - 5 September 2016

For one to be a leader or president ,its the gorvened that allow it.At one tyme pres mugabe was allowed by pple to be president.Ngwena must put the cries of the pple as his utmost command, .The real reasn pple seek power now,to represent pple not institutions.People want leadership NOW.Pple want change Now.There is no better time than this time ,as demanded by pple,the nation.

viola gwena - 5 September 2016

He would make a good President but he probably muist correct his dirty past which is still vivid in people's minds. In Kwekwe etc, in Matebeleland etc. As far as saying "i am sorry" he has a way of saying it for he is brilliant upstairs. However, I doubt his chances with the G40 working flat out against his rise to the Presidency. As you know, kwafa vanhu uye kwakadzingwa vanhu, uye vamwe vari kuzodzingwa zvakare.

icho - 5 September 2016

Amadhodha sibili.The path to run a country requires men of honour,steel.Toomany calulations n procrastinations will spoile the pot.Its those wth strong hearts n will that manage to get in,wthout calculaters.This Ngwena may live to regret ,later when other crocs have jumped for it,not wait.John Tembo is a testimony to this.

viola gwena - 5 September 2016

Mnangagwa is bob's puppy I don't know why people get excited by him. He like his boss cant win a free and fair election and given the fragmentation of the faction politics in the zanu he doesn't have that unifying "skill" Mugabe has of creating enemies for his party to concentrate on whilst they rig the elections. He wont rise to the occasion and dislodge Bob because he knows the next person to go will be him and then his children and business empire.

Lt General - 5 September 2016

So the fraudsters, election and wife thieves and murderers are now telling us the innocents that enough is enough? We have had enough of their collective nonsense and BS. Step aside!

Sagitarr - 5 September 2016

The old man has always done such things in the past too. He is like the cat which eats its own kitten when hungry. Our blessed Zim has had to still bear this rogue demon for so many years is surely a pity.

goodyoungin - 6 September 2016

Our journalists do not have a nose for news. So no one has ever ventured to check the family relations of Chipanga and Mugabe? Uyu muzukuru wasekuru. Nepotism here and nothing else. Just like Prence Shiri real name Chikerema is sekuru vaBob and Chidhakwa etc. Ukuwo Grace akati handingasari Bimha ndibaba mudiki.

Samaita - 6 September 2016

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