ZANU PF yesterday described its former leader and ex-President Robert Mugabe as the new enemy of the ruling party for his alleged hobnobbing with the National Patriotic Front (NPF) led by former Cabinet minister, Ambrose Mutinhiri.
Speaking at a Zanu PF youth meeting, the party’s youth league secretary, Pupurai Togarepi ridiculed Mugabe, saying the former President was behaving like he was possessed.
“He seems like he has been taken by another spirit and we will not leave it like that, as has happened with our revolution when he was influenced by a clique of anti-revolutionaries to destroy Zanu PF,” he said.
“If he associates with new political parties or is influenced by those who influenced him before, we will lose respect for him and, as youth, we have made this decision, but we will stand guided if he withdraw that behaviour and started to work as a true Zanu PF member.
“We will not be happy if he takes what he is getting from the government to destroy our revolution, destroy your government, destroy the future of the youth.”
Mugabe was recently pictured with Mutinhiri, who recently broke ranks with Zanu PF, feeding speculation that the former President was backing the political upstart.
Togarepi, who a few weeks ago was at the forefront of organising a birthday bash for Mugabe, said party youth were aware of what was happening in Mugabe’s circles and if he failed to behave, gloves will be off.
Togarepi said they followed President Emmerson Mnagagwa’s mantra of letting bygones be bygones, but if Mugabe “is not responsible, we are going to look at him as a new enemy and we will go for him”.
Mnangagwa said he would check on Mugabe to see if claims that his predecessor was behind the new party linked to the vanquished G40 faction were true.
“Currently, we are not happy with what the media is saying,” he said.
“We don’t know the truth about that, but it’s an issue that we are analysing.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God, so if the voice of the people says this is wrong, then we also say this is wrong.
“If an individual or group of individuals goes against the current, the voice of the people, then we will say you are lost.”
Mugabe is reportedly disgruntled over the manner he was pushed out of power by the military last November.
The veteran leader was revered in the ruling party, but yesterday, his name was met with derision, with slogan pasi na (down with) Robert Mugabe being chanted at the meeting.
Several youth chanted derogatory slogans about Mugabe.
Speaking at the same event, Zanu PF chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri spoke glowingly of Mnangagwa, as she opened up on alleged sabotage targeting the President.
She took aim at Mugabe’s wife, Grace for seeking to take credit for programmes championed by Mnangagwa and her claims that the former President would rule the country posthumously.
The youth made several demands, among them, getting business ventures and parliamentary seats in the upcoming elections.
They also demanded vehicles and fuel from the party.
Although Mnangagwa promised to honour some of the demands, he described as untrue reports by the youth league that 60% of the population were youth, who would vote for Zanu PF.
He encouraged his party’s youth to utilise the social media platforms to campaign for Zanu PF.