HARARE – Zanu-PF youths have warned Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe against his wife, Grace, accusing her of being out to destroy the ruling party.
Nine provincial youth chairpersons of the umbrella body, the “Save Zanu PF Campaign”, addressed the media in Harare on Tuesday.
“We have noted that some close to you in your social life, including your wife Grace Mugabe, her so-called allies in the party, and some in government seem to have hatched an evil plan to destroy the party, which you have so much nurtured and protected…,” said Godfrey Tsenengamu, the national co-ordinator of “Save Zanu PF Campaign”.
“Comrade President, we plead with you to rein and restrain your wife Grace Mugabe for the good of the party, your legacy, unity and for her own good as a politician.”
Zanu-PF is currently embroiled in internal power struggles which have seen the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader becoming increasingly suspicious of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, suspecting him and other party officials of scheming against his continued rule.
The media conference was also attended by Zanu-PF youth league affiliates – the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZICOSU), the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators, the Organisation Trust and the Children of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.
Last week, Grace Mugabe blasted Mnangagwa at a rally in Mashonaland Central province, accusing him of plotting to remove her husband from power and also for planning to kill Mugabe’s children.
She also led a campaign last year to remove ex-vice president Joice Mujuru from power, also accusing her of plotting to kill Mugabe.
Addressing a news conference in Harare, the coordinator of the group calling itself Save Zanu PF Campaign, Godfrey Tsenengamu, accused Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo of being an American front tasked with removing Mr. Mugabe from office.
Tsenengamu could not elaborate. Officials at the United States Embassy in Harare were also not available for comment. Studio 7 failed to also get a comment from Minister Moyo who was not answering his mobile phone.
President Mugabe has over the years accused America of spearheading a regime change agenda in Zimbabwe, with him being the prime target.
These accusation come in the wake of factionalism in the ruling party that has reached alarming levels with First Lady Grace Mugabe convening a rally recently where she publicly ridiculed a Zanu PF faction allegedly led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa calling itself Team Lacoste.
She claimed that the group is attempting to topple President Mugabe. She once levelled similar allegations against expelled former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Some political commentators rubbished Tsengamu’s claims. One of them, Terry Mutsvanga, director of the Coalition Against Corruption, said America has more pressing issues on the international front than to focus on Zanu PF’s internal fights.
This view is also shared by another independent political analyst, Mlondolozi Ndlovu.
Tsenengamu also alleged that Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was harboring presidential ambitions. He alleged that the party’s political commissar was also using his party position to sideline some party figures that he suspects of standing in his way.
However, Kasukuwere told a rally addressed by Mrs. Mugabe in Mashonaland Central province last week that he was backing President Mugabe and declared war on anyone who would want to challenge him.
Local journalist Edgar Gweshe said factionalism in now rife in Zanu PF because President Mugabe has failed to groom a successor.
As factionalism intensifies in Zanu PF, the party’s politburo is set to meet tomorrow to discuss the internal fights in the party.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, however, told Studio 7 that tomorrow’s event was not an extra-ordinary politburo meeting although some Zanu PF sources claimed that it was primarily called to discuss the widening rift in the ruling party.