The Zanu PF Youth League has endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the sole candidate for the ruling party in the 2023 presidential election amid moves to resuscitate the feared national youth service program ahead of the crucial harmonized polls.
In a tweet, the Youth League, which ended its two-day elective conference today, said they were confident in the current party executive, comprising Mnangagwa and vice presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
The Zanu PF Youth League also resolved that they will undergo ideological training in order to follow the ruling party’s principles.
The tweet read in part, “Youth (are expected) to play their vanguard role and go for training at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.”
A similar national service program was discontinued when some of the young people, who undertook quasi-military training, were linked to serious cases of political violence in previous elections.
Addressing the youth today in Harare, Mnangagwa encouraged them to enroll at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology.
He said, “The new leadership has the responsibility to mobilise and encourage people to vote for ZANU PF … Take advantage of the Chitepo School of Ideology. During the liberation struggle I was among the first youth. When we went to China, the Chinese Communist Party had a program in three parts. The first three months at the ideology school we learnt about Mao Tse Tung. The second six months we spent at the military academy and another two months in engineering. You can't be trained without an ideology or lead in ZANU PF unless you go through Chitepo College.”
He said youth are expected to play a critical role in the forthcoming general elections.
“I was encouraged by your zeal during this conference. As leadership we are impressed … Let's take all local authorities and run them. During our time what we wanted was to win. Toda kuvasvasvanga (defeat them thoroughly) at all levels for a thunderous victory for ZANU PF. Never leave anything to chance. You need to serve wholeheartedly and use realistic scientific strategies using musangano kumacell (engaging people are cell level). We have already begun now so that we will win the 2023 elections. It's all systems go in our party’s mobilization drive.
“Now that you have elected a new leadership the youth league has been energised renewed and galvanized towards the growth of the Party towards the 2023 elections. A program will be arranged for you to study the ideology of the party at Chitepo School of Ideology. Be humble and accept to be teachable. I urge you to refuse to be owned by individuals. Don't belong to clicks for political expedience. Musabvuma kuiswa muhomwe yemunhu (don’t allow yourself to be placed in some people’s pockets). Always remain patriotic, loyal and disciplined as ZANU PF members. The party is bigger than all of us. Always adhere to the party constitution.”
The Youth League also praised the government for crafting the Patriotic Bill, which will make it a crime for Zimbabweans to engage foreigners in other nations without state consent.