By Idah Mhetu
THE youth league does not require President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s permission to fight corruption in Zanu PF, deputy politburo youth secretary Lewis Matutu has said.
Matutu told NewZimbabwe.com’s current affairs programme The Agenda on Monday that Mnangagwa only got to know about the list of corrupt officials “through the media and maybe his security briefings.”
According to the youth league deputy secretary, this was meant to protect Mnangagwa’s image given the likelihood of those accused of sabotaging the economy accusing him of being behind the “naming and shaming campaign.”
“We didn’t inform him. He didn’t know, actually he got it from the media,” he said.
“If we had told the president that we were going to name the corrupt officials perhaps certain individuals could have said we have been sent by the President,” said Matutu.
Following his interview with NewZimbabwe.com and the subsequent outing of the top officials, Zanu PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena took to Twitter to show his displeasure arguing the youth league was being used.
But Matutu argued that the move was also meant to make sure Mnangagwa does not talk the youth league out of the move.
“We also thought that maybe the President could try to talk us out and maybe suggest that he deals with the issues using government or party structures,” the youth league leader said.
However, Matutu denied the decision not to advise Mnangagwa before hand was aimed at putting him on the spot.
“No there was no intention to put him on the spot. We just wanted to follow our own programme which we think is correct.
“We respect the President and he has been very consistent that he is against any form of corruption. For us the fact that the party and government will now set up a commission of inquiry into the accusations we made is a victory. We will now wait with evidence to present to the commission. We have the evidence ready,” Matutu told The Agenda.
On Tuesday, responding to his followers on Twitter, Matutu went even further and declared the youth league was an independent body in Zanu PF that was able to make its own decisions without consulting Mnangagwa.
“It was during the (former President Robert) Mugabe era where people could not speak their mind unless they ask him. In this new dispensation, we are free to exercise our rights and I don’t need the approval of President ED to talk about corruption,” he said.
Matutu led the youth league executive in announcing a list of senior officials in the party and government they claimed were behind the chaos in the economy especially the currency parallel market.
The list included party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya, Cabinet Ministers Priscah Mupfumira and Joram Gumbo, controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo.