President Emmerson Mnangagwa reiterated yesterday that he was aware of a group within Zanu-PF that was working hard to oust him from power – before he also lashed out at unnamed Western powers, business people and labour unions for allegedly conniving to undermine his government.
At the same time, the Zanu-PF youth league – in an apparent attack on secretary for administration Obert Mpofu – implored Mnangagwa to fire ruling party bigwigs who were allegedly not supporting his vision.
Addressing the Zanu PF youth league national assembly in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa said G40 elements remained in the ruling party and needed to be flushed out from all structures of the party to entrench loyalty to his leadership.
“Unity, unity is key in Zanu PF and in the country. The party cannot fit in the pockets of the President, but the President fits in the pocket of the party,” Mnangagwa said.
“I, however, commend those who have remained loyal and faithful to the party and its leadership, especially these moments of manifestations by those we perceive to be one of us. I encourage you all to continue to work hard for the good of the party and guard against the whims of the enemies of our party. We still have elements of the G40 participating among us as wolves in sheep’s clothing. These must be flushed out, not only in the youth league, but also within the rank and file of the party in general.”
Since taking over power through a military coup in November 2017, Mnangagwa, however, appeared to be also preaching forgiveness within the party, saying he would “let bygones be bygones”.
His latest call to flush out elements allegedly linked to the vanquished G40 faction received wild applause from the youth league, already baying for the blood of some Zanu PF leaders appointed into government and politburo, but had supported Mnangagwa’s ouster from Zanu PF.
Pulling no punches, secretary for youth affairs, Pupurai Togarepi told Mnangagwa that these leaders were working against his vision both in government and the party, calling on their ouster from leadership positions.
“President, you are hunting with dogs that don’t belong to you. They are pursuing an agenda that does not support your vision. They are using positions which you allocated them to further their own interests and build their own legacy. We want to warn them that we are watching,” Togarepi said.
He further told Mnangagwa that there are some leaders he appointed who were now targeting individual youth league leaders through lawsuits after they were implicated in corrupt deals.
“We want to tell them to take all of us to court, not an individual because the person who spoke was not speaking for themselves, but for all of us. So if they want to go to court, they must drag all of us,” he said.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu recently dragged deputy youth league secretary Lewis Matutu to court demanding $10 million compensation for injury to his reputation.
In a thinly veiled warning to Mpofu, Mnangagwa said the allegations made by the youth league were done within the party and should not spill
“We have appointed an internal committee in Zanu PF to investigate the allegations of corruption. These allegations were made within the party, they will be solved within. Those who have ears have heard,” Mnangagwa said, as he responded to the lawsuit issue.
The Zanu PF leader also said he was aware that some of those he appointed into leadership positions were not attending national events and failing to pull in the same direction.
“I have noticed that too, there are leaders who don’t attend national events. If you are a leader, you have to attend those events. We will warn them so that they start to attend if they want to remain leaders,” he said.
There has been a steady push from the youth league and other sections of Zanu PF for a Cabinet reshuffle, which Mnangagwa has been resisting to implement.