Youth leader’s suspensions synonymous with factionalism?

By claiming that Tagwireyi is a “heartless and corrupt man” at the same time inviting "inviting all citizens to come and join us in fighting corruption”, Matutu and Tsenengamu are standing on solid ground.

By Gibson Nyikadzino

Today the Zanu-PF Politburo stripped Youth Affairs Secretary Pupurai Togarepi and his deputy Lewis Matutu, along with the Youth League’s Political Commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu of their positions in the party for indiscipline.

They failed to follow the party’s due procedure in addressing grievances, it has been announced.

On Monday Matutu and Tsenengamu held a press conference and confirmed what the main opposition MDC-Alliance has been saying that business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwireyi, a close ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is behind the destabilisation of the country’s financial market and encouraging kleptocracy by the elite.

The two also announced they were ready for any outcome. But citizens should not celebrate the outcome, it is placation.

While the Zanu PF Youth League distanced itself from the press conference by Matutu and Tsenengamu on Monday, Togarepi threw his weight behind the duo and tied the Youth League to the presser, a position which state media dithered.

Addressing media after the Politburo meeting, Zanu PF Acting Secretary for Information and Publicity Patrick Chinamasa acknowledged that before their suspensions, the trio was given an opportunity to defend themselves.

“Their defence was weak because they did not substantiate their narrative with facts. We felt their departure from the direction of the Politburo called for action because of this irregular modus operandi,” said Chinamasa.

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For their offences, Togarepi now ceases to be the party’s Secretary for Youth Affairs and will no longer be in the Politburo, but will remain a member of the Central Committee and as Chief Whip in the National Assembly.

Youth League Secretary for Administration Tendai Chirau is now the Acting Secretary for Youth Affairs.

Matutu and Tsenengamu have also been dismissed from their positions for “twelve months” after which they can contest any party positions, in the interim will be ordinary card-carrying members. The two have also been ordered to go for a compulsory training at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology for three months.   

For all, Tsenengamu and Matutu should be applauded for speaking what senior Zanu PF party officials turned an eye to while “knowing” the truth. The privileges they had in their positions have taken them this far.

They have, with consequences, openly defied and objected Zanu PF’s “see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil” narrative. 

However, there is nothing new with these suspensions. Tsenengamu did the worst during Mugabe’s era when he was expelled from the party as Mashonaland Central Youth Chair. The expulsion strengthened his resolve to dabble in the Zanu PF factional fights then, by telling then President Mugabe to “touch not the anointed,” a reference for now President Mnangagwa.

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Tsenengamu is synonymous with factionalism in Zanu PF. He once fought in President Mnangagwa’s corner, and there is no reason for him to stop.

Because of factionalism in Zanu PF, though the two have been suspended, they did their job and smeared Tagwireyi in a scheme similar to a well networked sting operation.

While the Zanu PF of today appears to be a reformed institution by not expelling the three, their rehabilitation is a mascara. They have been placed in vicinity because they have more assignments coming, which they will fulfil.

There is an elite disconnection in the Zanu PF hierarchy. The ruling class is lacking ruling class ideas that connect well with the needs of the majority, hence the youth have become pawns in the party’s power struggles and dynamics, hence no need to celebrate.

By claiming that Tagwireyi is a “heartless and corrupt man” at the same time inviting “inviting all citizens to come and join us in fighting corruption”, the two are standing on solid ground.

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