By Fungi Kwaramba
Fresh fissures have emerged in the ruling Zanu PF, with disgruntled members of its youth league passing a vote of no confidence on their leader Pupurai Togarepi and four other members of his executive, the Daily News can report.
Togarepi and his lieutenants are under fire for “misconduct and for “letting down” President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the past few months — as the Zanu PF leader and his government have come under growing pressure locally and internationally.
In a petition addressed to the party’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, and copied to Mnangagwa, youth league members said they no longer wanted Togarepi, his deputy Lewis Matutu and three other executive members — Tendai Chirau, Admire Mahachi and Mercy Mugomo — all of whom are accused of gross misconduct.
“The youth league national executive council, sitting in extraordinary session on February 6, 2019 in Harare, unanimously moved a motion of no confidence vote on five of its members in order to realign it with the vision of … Mnangagwa.
“The motion was necessitated by the call by … Mnangagwa for the youth league to be vibrant, proactive and to move from being lethargic,” the disaffected youth league members said.
They added that the vote of no confidence motion was in line with the Zanu PF constitution which allowed them to take such action.
Togarepi and his affected colleagues were not reachable for comments yesterday.
The youth league members listed a raft of allegations against their leaders, including alleged dereliction of duty, gross misconduct and disloyalty to the party.
“Whereas article 23, section 204 (1) (a) of the party constitution, dictates that the youth league national executive council should convene in ordinary session once every two months, … Togarepi, Matutu and Chirau failed or neglected to call for the six constitutionally-prescribed meetings of 2018.
“This was incompetence on the part of the trio who are constitutionally-charged with ensuring that the league adheres to the party constitution and meets as required by the constitution.
“And whereas article 3, section 21 (5) of the party constitution, states that every member of the party has the duty to conduct themselves honestly and honourably in their dealings with the party and general public, … Togarepi and Matutu converted and diverted resources meant for the youth league for personal use without the resolution of the youth league national executive council.
“Computers were donated by Potraz (Postal Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe), but their distribution has been unaccounted. Matutu also sourced for funds from Tongaat and Bikita minerals for youth league projects without the mandate of the executive,” read some of the listed breaches.
Also of major concern to the youth league members were the recent riots against the government which they said should have been “robustly” responded to by their leadership.
Mnangagwa and his government have come under withering criticism following last month’s riots which were sparked by a sharp hike in the prices of fuel.
At least 12 people were killed and hundreds others left injured in bloody clashes between security forces and protesters who had poured onto the streets around the country after heeding a call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to stay away from work.
Mnangagwa, who was feted like a king when he replaced deposed former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017, initially lifted the mood of crisis-weary Zimbabweans who were hopeful at the time that he would turn around the country’s economic fortunes.
However, the post-July 30 election shootings — which left at least six civilians dead when the military used live ammunition to quell an ugly demonstration in Harare’s central business district (CBD) on August 1 — and the latest round of deaths, as well as the vicious clampdown of dissenting voices — have seriously dented his image, in addition to harming his chances of getting financial support from Western countries.
“… Mahachi has on numerous occasions abused the name of … Mnangagwa in Odzi where he conducts his mining operations. He has alleged that he reports to the president about his mining operations and the Joint Operations Command was assigned to protect his mining interests. This conduct has been dishonourable and dishonest”.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF insiders told the Daily News yesterday that the latest brawl was part of worsening factional fights in the former liberation movement.
The ruling part is said to be experiencing renewed divisions caused by fights between reformists and hardliners, which insiders say could take a turn for the worse if they are not kept in check. DailyNews