By Dakarai Mashava
Zanu PF Secretary for youth affairs Pupurai Togarepi says the ruling party’s youths have enduring respect for former President Robert Mugabe and all the people who took part in the country’s protracted war of liberation.
Togarepi, who was reinstated as the ruling party’s secretary for youth affairs by President Emmerson Mnangagwa after he took over the leadership of both the country and Zanu PF after a military intervention that booted out Mugabe last November, said the former President remains one of the country’s living heroes.
“Yes we respect all our liberation heroes including comrade RG Mugabe,” the Zanu PF secretary for youth affairs told the Daily News yesterday.
Togarepi, however, added that the youths’ respect for the former strongman was conditional.
“Future respect on individual comrades is dependent on one’s continued loyalty to the founding principles of our revolution,” he said.
Togarepi’s conciliatory position on Mugabe, though, contradicts that of Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba who recently said Mugabe no longer deserved to be buried at the National Heroes Acre because he had allegedly sold out.
Chinotimba’s comments followed reports that Mugabe was the brains behind the formation of the Ambrose Mutinhiri-led National Patriotic Front (NPF) that was formed recently.
But Yesterday the Zanu PF youth boss poured cold water on Chinotimba’s call for Mugabe not to be interred at the national shrine.
“Zanu PF and its government have no policy of vindictiveness. We don’t bury living people so talking about Comrade RG Mugabe’s place of burial now is misplaced. Such elements don’t represent us as Zanu PF in their view,” said Togarepi.
He said the youths should attend the Independence Day celebrations in big numbers regardless of the fact that Mugabe won’t be presiding over the event for the first time since Zimbabwe became independent in 1980.
“This is annual Independence commemoration for all Zimbabweans. It has nothing to do with one Zimbabwean (Mugabe). Of course it is really an experience that we now have new President and everyone is awaiting his roadmap for our great nation. The former President is just one citizen who will celebrate with us in this year of our Lord, 2018
“I encourage the youth to celebrate our Independence with renewed zeal and to work for a prosperous Zimbabwe. I challenge the youth to redirect their effort from delinquencies towards rebuilding our country. Learn from our living and departed heroes. Defending Zimbabwe’s Independence should be a priority today and posterity,” said Togarepi. – DailyNews