HARARE – Youths aligned to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa have warned Zanu PF youth league leader, Kudzanai Chipanga, against threatening to take up arms to block the imposition of President Robert Mugabe’s successor.
Last week, Chipanga said they were now “so angry” with the on-going savage attacks on Mugabe by some sections of the former liberation movement that they would “go to war” to defend the under-siege nonagenarian.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform (ZYAP) national chairperson Tonderai Chidawa, who is also Zimbabwe Congress for Students Union (Zicosu) president, said they were also ready to defend war veterans and Mnangagwa, who is viewed as 92-year-old Mugabe’s heir apparent.
This comes as G40 and Team Lacoste have been fighting hammer and tongs over who will succeed Mugabe, who turns a mature 93 next month.
“As Zimbabwe youths, we are disturbed by Chipanga’s utterances that he will go to the streets to wage war against the war veterans. He was speaking on a position of a certain faction which is G40,” Chidawa said.
“We also know their plot. They want to demonstrate against the vice president when the president returns because of that cup issue, stop abusing students.”
Since images of Mnangagwa holding a coffee mug inscribed “I am the Boss” emerged in the public domain, his foes have gone to town about the issue, interpreting it as his open statement that he has unbridled presidential ambitions.
The Midlands godfather has also been under the cosh in recent days for hosting sacked Zanu PF officials at his rural home during the festive season, with his party enemies alleging that the meeting was organised to plot Mugabe’s ouster.
“We are ready to stop those plans (to demonstrate against Mnangagwa) and we can’t fold our hands watching that madness,” Chidawa said.
“To some extent, we cannot blame Chipanga for his utterances because he is a Form 4 drop-out, he is singing for his supper,” he said.
He claimed that Mnangagwa is the only suitable candidate to take over from Mugabe.
“We never heard Mnangagwa saying he wants to be the president of Zimbabwe but it is the people, youths, war veterans and women who want him to lead after Mugabe. After the president is gone, Mnangagwa will lead. He is the only person who knows the solutions to the current economic problems,” he said.
The youths also savaged Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo for saying Mnangagwa can forget about getting his support if he chooses to run for the Zanu PF leadership.
“For …Moyo, Mnangagwa doesn’t need his support to ascend to the presidency. We made a resolution that …Mugabe will rule and stand as Zanu PF candidate in 2018. The VP had nothing to do with his (Moyo) arrest,” Chidawa said.
In his remarks, Chipanga said: “So, any attempt by anyone to impose a leader on us in Zanu PF will be resisted fiercely by the youths who are even prepared to take up arms in defence of that principle. We are not going to be intimidated by anyone.”
“The presidency is not a straightjacket. We also understand that when our parents went to war, they were fighting for one-man, one-vote,” Chipanga said.
“We will not be bystanders and watch them (Mugabe’s Zanu PF foes) grab power using unscrupulous means. That we will resist by any means necessary. We will not brook such nonsense,” he said.