Controversial African National Congress Youth President Julius Malema arrived in Zimbabwe from South Africa late Friday for a three-day fact-finding visit focused on indigenization, during which he is expected to meet with President Robert Mugabe.
Government officials and senior members of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party were on hand at the Harare International Airport to meet Malema, including Youth and Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and ZANU-PF Youth Chairman Absolom Sikhosana.
Malema has stirred controversy in South Africa over his wealth which some consider to be of suspicious origin, anti-white rhetoric and the perception that he is not a very good role model for South African youth.
A South African court recently barred him from singing the Apartheid-era war chant “Kill the Boer.” But about 500 ZANU-PF youth at the Harare airport were singing the song as he emerged from the terminal.
VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported on the scene at the airport.
Some Zimbabwean organizations have criticized Malema’s visit, saying it is inappropriate when South African President Jacob Zuma, head of the African National Congress, is in the midst of trying to mediate a solution to the Zimbabwean political crisis.
The faction of the Zimbabwe National Students Union that backs the parliamentary-led constitutional revision process said Malema is a poor role model, saying he is corrupt and has not empowered South African youth.
The South African branch of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai held a news conference on Thursday condemning Malema’s visit after he declared that the MDC is not “revolutionary” enough in comparison with ZANU-PF.
Director Sidney Chisi of the Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that although Malema has the right to visit, his failure to meet with youth organizations other than the ZANU-PF youth wing suggests partiality by the African National Congress as a whole.