Zanu PF in fresh storm over youth league leadership, Togarepi targeted again

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By Leopold Munhende

THE ruling Zanu PF party’s youth league could be thrown into fresh turmoil after it emerged there was a push for someone under 35 to lead the structure, has learnt.

The demand could be part of a plot to unseat current politburo secretary for youth Pupurai Togarepi. The Gutu South MP survived an ouster plot two weeks ago after two thirds of the youth league’s national executive voted to push him out only for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to block the move.

According to the ruling party’s deputy youth secretary Lewis Matutu, Zanu PF has embarked on a restructuring program which will see them pushing for 15-35-year-olds to take over the leadership of the assembly.

Togarepi who turns 55 this year, will no longer be eligible to lead the assembly if the policy is adopted.

The Zanu PF parliamentary Chief Whip, was recently saved by President Emmerson Mnangagwa after some provinces passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

“As the youth league we are going to take advantage of the restructuring of the two provinces to strengthen our structures, giving an opportunity to those within the ages of 15-35 to lead the youth.

“This is an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as we work to transform our league into a modern political organisation,” said Matutu who will be heading the Bulawayo restructuring program.

“There is need to accommodate the youth. I am prepared for the challenge and after all our constitution is very clear on that matter.”

The Zanu PF constitution stipulates that its youth arm should be made up and led by individuals between the ages of 15 and 30 years. However as party leader Mnangagwa has leeway to appoint secretaries to head different structures of the party including the youth league. Those appointed from the party’s central committee get a seat into the politburo, Zanu PF’s administrative arm.

Mnangagwa has reportedly directed his deputies Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga to oversee restructuring of the party in Bulawayo and Harare respectively following the dissolution of all structures.

The Zanu PF leader was forced to dissolve party structures in both metropolitan provinces last week after the re-emergence of fault lines within the party which threaten a second implosion in two years.

Reports claim Chiwenga and Mnangagwa are heading different factions of the party with the Vice President allegedly angling to stop the party’s leader’s wish for a second term in five years time.