Apparent divisions within Zanu PF in Manicaland Province came to light Saturday when its Youth League's newly-elected leadership boycotted a provincial executive meeting attended by its deposed head.
The youths snubbed the meeting, chaired by Zanu PF provincial leader Mike Madiro, citing the attendance of ousted youth chairperson Tendai Mukodza as one of the reasons.
Mukodza was voted out on December 20 over allegations that he misappropriated an undisclosed amount of money meant to benefit the group under the “Upfumi Kuvadiki” programme. Mukodza has refused to step down.
The rank and file members say they will not work with Mr. Madiro if he continues to recognize Mukodza as wing leader.
Sources within the party told VOA that those who did not attend the meeting included newly-elected Manicaland provincial youth chairperson Kelvin Manyengavana, his deputy Felistas Dumba, administration secretary Mubuso Chinguno, finance secretary Chaita Mhlanga, and commissariat secretary Lovemore Chibvura.
Insiders said the provincial executive meeting is supposed to be attended by the top five executive members from the Youth League, five representatives from the Women's League and 34 members of the Main Wing in the province.
A Zanu PF youth, who asked not to be named, said Madiro “failed to act constitutionally” by trying to deliberate on the issue of Mukodza's ouster. The youth argues that Madiro's mandate and that of the provincial executive is not to discuss youth issues, but to organize public meetings for the party, organize rallies and implement party policies.
The alleged attempt to restore Mukodza to his former position is corrupt and outside elements should keep their hands off the Youth League"
He further said the Youth League is upset that Madiro is trying to overturn the wing's vote of no confidence in Mukodza and see him returned to the post of chairperson.
Incumbent chairperson Kelvin Manyengava confirmed he and his leadership boycotted the meeting, vowing that the Youth League would not reverse its action against Mukodza.
He charged that the alleged attempt to restore Mukodza to his former position is “corrupt” and asked that outside elements keep their “hands off the Youth League."
“At this meeting,” Manyengavana said, “they [the Manicaland provincial party heads] failed to recognize the new executive where Mukodza got a vote of no confidence. So as a youth committee we are saying when they invited a fired member, Mukodza, it means we are out of it, but as a party we will continue gunning for support.”
When contacted for comment, Mr. Mukodza said he was not allowed to speak about the issue. Mr. Madiro also declined the opportunity to comment when contacted by VOA Studio 7.