WASHINGTON DC —
The newly elected national executive of the Movement for Democratic Change's youth wing says it is solidly behind party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and will work hard to dislodge President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power.
Addressing journalists at the national youth executive's first press conference in Gweru Tuesday, the MDC-T youth secretary Lovemore Chinoputsa, said although the executive - elected at the party's weekend congress - is still to hold its first meeting, it fully supports Tsvangirai and his calls for national peaceful protests as a way of removing the ruling Zanu PF party from power.
Responding to a question on how effective or successful such demonstrations can be, given that the majority of Zimbabweans are now self-employed, Chinoputsa said in view of what he described as President Mugabe's "vicious dictatorship," peaceful revolt was the only way the majority could show its disapproval of the suffering that it is experiencing.
Chinoputsa claimed that ordinary Zimbabweans are the ones who are clamouring for the demonstrations, adding that the MDC-T's youth wing will have a clear strategy for the envisaged demonstrations.
Chinoputsa said the ongoing factional fights in Zanu PF show that President Mugabe is no longer in charge of the party and the country, a situation he said compounds the problems that Zimbabwe is facing.
Despite the fact that some western countries, which have imposed targeted sanctions on President Mugabe and other senior Zanu PF members are now re-engaging Harare, Chinoputsa said the MDC-T remains of the firm view that President Mugabe's rule is illegitimate, claiming the 2013 elections were rigged.
He added that the MDC-T youth wing will continue to fight until the country holds credible elections.
Chinoputsa said the MDC-T is in support of a coalition to dislodge Zanu PF but noted that such an alliance can only materialize if all stakeholders acknowledge that Mr. Tsvangirai is and remains the legitimate face of the opposition in Zimbabwe.
He dismissed allegations that the MDC-T leader does not brook any dissenting voice in his party, saying the former trade unionist is a tried and tested democrat who has an open-door policy.
The former prime minister is being criticized for allowing sweeping constitutional changes at the weekend congress that saw him being given excessive powers to run the party, control its name, assets and powers previously invested in the secretary general and treasurer general.
Chinoputa also quashed speculation that the MDC-T had become more fractured, saying the party had just held a successful congress, meaning it is still intact.
On views that Tsvangirai was becoming dictatorial as he forced constitutional amendments that concentrate power in his position, Chinoputsa said the changes had been necessary after the realization that there were many centres of power in the party, which he said had caused previous splits.
He said the changes to the party's constitution were approved by party members.
Chinoputsa said the youth executive will hold its first meeting soon to come up with resolutions he says will help provide solutions to the country's problems.
Other members of the national youth executive, who accompanied Chinoputsa, were national chairperson Happymore Chidziva, spokesman Brian Dube, organising secretary Morgan Ncube, vice organizing secretary Yvonne Musarurwa, treasurer Tawanda Kureva and vice secretary Chamunorwa Madya.