By Anna Chibamu
VETERAN Zanu PF politician and ex-Defence Minister, Sydney Sekeramayi has defended the continued existence of old party leaders whose presence has riled some party youths who feel they should surrender their positions to an emerging crop of young leaders.
He was speaking in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com on the side-lines of the country’s Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium Thursday.
Sekeramayi, who was ex-President Robert Mugabe’s choice of successor, said party leaders get their positions through elections and if the old leaders are still popular with the party faithful, there was nothing wrong with their continued existence.
“People are in leadership not by imposition but by the will of the people. So, if the people want leader so and so, it is still perfectly legitimate,” said Sekeramayi, at one time one of the longest serving cabinet ministers in Mugabe’s now-defunct cabinet.
Since his election as the country’s number one July last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa been retiring most officials from government and relegating them to the Zanu PF headquarters to perform some administrative functions.
In a recent interview with ZTV broadcast on Wednesday, President Mnangagwa said those who left the party and were expelled can still be accommodated back into the party but will not be given any leadership posts.
“Zanu PF is a mass party, not everybody who is in Zanu PF is actually Zanu PF. Just like in the church, those who go to church and say Christ, Christ are Christians. So is the same in Zanu PF.
“The fact that it is a mass party, we take the cue of Mao Tse-Tung who said ‘as the revolution unfolds, some will fall by the way but as they as fall and want to come back, you receive them back and reorient them but take heed that you will not give them responsibility anymore,” the President said.
Last week, former Minister of State Didymus Mutasa and former Mashonaland East Provincial Minister Ambrose Mutinhiri re-joined the ruling party after they left Zanu PF in two different occasions through expulsion and resignation.
Mutinhiri went on to form his National Patriotic Party.
Zanu PF activists angered by the continued existence of old party leaders have singled out ex-Minister Obert Mpofu among those who should leave.