Some Zanu PF youths staged a peaceful demonstration Thursday at the Harare International Airport calling for the expulsion of former secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, as President Robert Mugabe arrived back home from a month-long holiday in Asia.
Harare Zanu PF Youth League chairman, Godwin Gomwe, told VOA Studio 7 the youths sang revolutionary songs and carried placards denouncing Mutasa for writing a document calling for the nullification of the results of 2014 Zanu PF elective congress.
Gomwe said the president, who was welcomed at the airport by Zimbabwe’s recently appointed vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko and top state officials, expressed dismay over Mutasa’s moves to engage lawyers to declare the Zanu PF congress as unconstitutional.
Mutasa, former Vice President Joice Mujuru, and several other senior party officials were sidelined in the run-up to the Zanu PF congress last December with claims that they wanted to topple President Mugabe using unconstitutional ways.
They have all denied any wrongdoing, claiming that they were victims of machinations by another faction of the party led by Mnangagwa to clandestinely take control of the party.
Gomwe said they want the president and his party’s politburo to take stern measures against Mutasa, who still maintains that he is the Zanu PF secretary for administration.
“As the Youth League we are 100 percent against Mutasa … We want our leaders to expel Mutasa,” said Gomwe.
Mutasa was not available for comment as his mobile phone was not reachable.
Zanu PF Central Committee member, Joseph Tshuma, says the youths have a right to stage such peaceful protests against any Zanu PF supporter.
“The youth are the vanguard of the party, so if they see something amiss or something wrong within the party, it’s within their rights to carryout such demonstrations, which will actually conscientize the party leadership to take action accordingly,” said Tshuma.
Political analyst Nkululeko Sibanda of Huddersfield University in London says the demonstrations are an indication that factionalism is still rife in Zanu PF and may devastate the party.
“What this tells us is that President Mugabe no longer has as much control of the party as we thought he did because when you look at these demonstrations, they will show you that politically that he is not in complete control of everything that’s happening,” said Sibanda.