WASHINGTON DC —
The Zanu PF national youth conference begins in Harare Thursday with all its provinces said to be eyeing the powerful deputy secretary’s post. The winner automatically becomes a member of the party's decision-making organ, the politburo.
Sources say most provinces have submitted their candidates’ names but the contest is said to be between Manicaland and Mashonaland West provinces.
There are also reports that Harare and Manicaland are demanding that the deputy secretary’s post be rotated to give every province an opportunity.
The two provinces have not landed the top post since independence. The outgoing deputy chair is from Midlands.
VOA Studio 7 reached youth wing secretary for information Bekezela Sibanda but he refused to speak saying he was busy with conference preparations.
Zanu PF says preparations for the national youth league conference, to be held at the Harare International Conference Centre, are complete with delegates from the country's 10 provinces expected to attend.
The conference runs from Thursday to Sunday and will be officially opened by President Robert Mugabe on Friday.
The youth league's secretary is appointed at the party’s congress by the party’s president and First Secretary Mr. Mugabe.
Absolom Sikhosana, 61, is the current secretary of the Zanu PF youth wing.
Commenting political analyst and Youth Initiative for Democracy in Zimbabwe (YIDEZ) director, Sydney Chisi, said events leading to the conference have revealed how deep divisions in the ruling party really are.