‘Zanu PF corruption fight, a sideshow’

The view of Harare from my room at the Rainbow Towers Hotel. The tall building to right (about 300 m away) is the headquarters of the ruling party, Zanu PF.

THE “naming and shaming” of powerful business leaders and politicians allegedly involved in corrupt activities could be a smokescreen to hoodwink the public of the internal fights within the ruling Zanu PF party, analysts have observed.

Last week the party’s youth leaders Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu accused some individuals of graft.

A few days after making these allegations the Zanu PF Politburo suspended Zanu PF youth league leaders Pupurai Togarepi , Tsenengamu and Matutu from the party for violating the party’s procedures.

Tsenengamu, who was the youth national political commissar, was suspended alongside Youth League deputy secretary, Matutu, after alleging that businessmen Kudakwashe Tagwirei, Billy Rautenbach and Tafadzwa Musarara were engaging in corrupt activities that are harming the economy.

Togarepi lost his politburo post as national youth chairperson and the trio is now ordinary card carrying members.

However, political analysts said the youths were involved in the internal politics of the ruling party and disguised as fighting corruption and were not being honest with the public on their intentions.

Political analyst and university of Zimbabwe lecturer, Lawrence Mhandara , said the youths were trying to hoodwink the nation that they were fighting corruption but they were playing a political game of fighting the factional and internal fights within Zanu PF.

“These youths are pseudo revolutionists and are being send by someone who is very powerful and they are proxies and it seems that they are involved in the internal fights in the party.

“If they were sincere about corruption they could have raised the matter within their party structures such as the politburo,” Mhandara said.

“By raising the issue of corruption they want to evoke the emotions of the public as they know corruption is one of the issues that the public is concerned about.

But we know that this is part of the internal politics in Zanu PF but the question is who is behind them?. Is it a third force or a powerful politician?”

Eldred Masunungure, political analyst and political science lecturer from the University of Zimbabwe, said the youths were involved in the factional fights within Zanu PF but were sincere saying that they wanted to fight corruption.

“The youths are being send by someone to talk about corruption and it seems that they have the backup of powerful politician as they could not just have mentioned these business people without the support of someone at the top,” Masunungure said.

“It seems this is part of the internal fights within Zanu PF that is taking another dimension and these youths are saying they are on their own and this is not the truth as we know that they are being send to talk about corruption but with the intention of settling political wars in their party.

The question that is on everyone’s mind is who is sending them,?”

Togarepi was suspended by the Politburo chaired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for failing to guide his subordinates and mentor them politically.

“I am a party cadre and I respect the decision of the party and I am steward of the party and I serve at the pleasure of the President who appointed me to that position.

The party is supreme and I am therefore guided accordingly,” Togarepi said.

He said he will continue to serve in the party as the Member of the House of Assembly for Gutu South and chief whip.

But Tsenengamu has remained defiant and is refusing to apologise saying that he has not received a letter of suspension from Zanu PF.

But he said he has accepted the decision after reading it in the press. “I am not moved by the decision that was made by the politburo but I was not given the chance to explain my side of the story.

“The suspension is not procedural but it will not derail my political career. Handiperi se sipo mupolitics.

( My political career will, not be washed out like soap. ),” Tsenengamu said.

“I am 37 years old and I am still young and I know that I will bounce back in the party as I have been suspended before in the past by the former leaders of the party.”

He added: “I received a lot of sympathising messages from other members who were in the Politburo meeting supporting my statements and encouraging me to fight on, and remain in the party and serve my sentence.”

He said he was his own man and not fighting in someone’s corner. “Some people are saying that I have been send by President Mnangagwa to fight Vice President Constantine Chiwenga or vice versa.

I don’t belong to any faction and I don’t know the factionalism you are referring to,” Tsenengamu said.

“I joined Zanu PF voluntarily and I will not be pushed around and I know my time shall come and those who are fighting me politically will not succeed.

“I have surrendered the party vehicle I was using and lost the salary I was earning at the party. I am not bothered as I am fighting for the people and I am not going to be blinded by good living and monetary benefits so that I cannot talk about corruption.”

Tsenengamu said. Matutu declined to comment on the matter. Togarepi and Tsenengamu were suspended by the late President Robert Mugabe in the party after being accused to be involved in the factional fights in 2017. – Business Times

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