By Sunday News Online
Munyaradzi Musiiwa in Gweru—
THERE was chaos at the Zanu-PF Convention Centre in Gweru yesterday during the revolutionary party’s Midlands Youth League inter-district meeting with members engaging in sporadic fights. Tensions exploded during the meeting with some youths engaging in scuffles after they formed small groups and tried to prevent each other from entering the venue. Police in anti-riot combat had to be called in to control the youths resulting in the meeting being delayed from 10am to 2pm.
Midlands Zanu-PF acting chairman and National Secretary for Education Dr Jorum Gumbo condemned the youths’ behaviour and vowed to discipline the perpetrators. He bemoaned lack of discipline among the youths saying it would tarnish the image of the party.
“I am embarrassed with the behaviour that you have exhibited today. The worst part of it is that you did it right in front of our guests. We had to call the police to restore order here as if we are not peaceful people. We have the names of the perpetrators and we will discipline them. Whoever was causing chaos is anti-President and Zanu-PF. Do not come here to cause violence,” Dr Gumbo told the youths.
Acting Midlands Zanu-PF Youth chairman Cde Prosper Machando claimed the youths were being used by some political leaders who have ulterior motives. He claimed some members of the party who have amassed a lot of wealth were in the habit of bribing youths and buying them intoxicating substances so that they use them to their advantage.
Cde Machando also blamed the national executive of the youths for allegedly creating rapport with a selected few in the province and circumventing proper channels of communication within the Youth League structures.
“We are worried that there are some members of the party who bribe our colleagues because they have accumulated wealth. They buy them beer and they cause confusion. Our province is united. Another challenge is that some people are going to the national executive and start confirming dates of the one million men march before we receive any formal communication as the provincial leadership. That is very wrong,” said Cde Machando.
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said the youths wanted a direct link to President Mugabe and no longer wanted a Youth Secretary who is not a member of the Youth League.
“We want a direct link between the Youth League and the President. We want to create a platform to interface with President Mugabe. Kwete zvekuisirwa madhara mberi kwedu (not to put old representatives in front),” he said.
Cde Chipanga said the youths would want to engage the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Dr Douglas Mombeshora to speed up the farm downsizing exercise to enable youths to benefit from the land reform.