SUSPENDED Zanu PF national youth commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu yesterday warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa that he risks being swept away by an impending revolution if he does not urgently dialogue with his political nemesis, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC, to restore political and economic stability in the country.
The former Zanu PF youth leader, who was suspended by the party politburo on Wednesday together with deputy youth secretary Lewis Matutu while youth secretary Pupurai Togarepi was axed from the politburo, said citizens were fast losing patience at the slow pace of stopping the scourge of corruption.
He also warned the Zanu PF leader against getting drunk with power.
“If you have power today, be sober, because it’s temporary. Don’t get drunk with power, zvinopera (it will come to an end),” Tsenengamu warned Mnangagwa at a no-holds-barred Press conference in Harare, where he also disclosed a plot to assassinate him and his ally, Lewis Matutu, for naming and shaming alleged cartel leaders behind the country’s current economic mess.
“Power rests in two political parties in Zimbabwe, we can’t hide from that and the solution of this country lies with all Zimbabweans, but these Zimbabweans, for a start, have to accept the reality that, for now, they (fall under) two major institutions, that is Zanu PF and the MDC,” he added.
“You cannot run away from the fact that while my President won an election, garnered 2,4 million votes, the next contender had 2,1 million votes and you cannot wish that away. It is a fact of life. The difference between the winner and the second contender is around 300 000 votes, so whoever chooses to ignore that is wasting time. Zimbabwe is polarised, it is a fact.
“The solution to this problem partly is on the two political parties because they are also part of the problem. Not because they are saints or geniuses, but they created this mess. The mess is on the shoulders of our two political parties.”
Added Tsenengamu: “There are hardliners in Zanu PF who are afraid that if President Mnangagwa dialogues with Chamisa, they are finished. There are hardliners in the MDC who think that if that happens, they are finished. There are people who want ED out and they want this situation to degenerate. There are others who want Chamisa to lead demonstrations, but he learnt in 2017 that you can go on the streets and get nothing. Now they (MDC hardliners) want a militant and vocal leader on the streets and these two leaders face extinction if they are not careful. They are being cheered as they sink. The time they will turn back, it will be too late.
“Imagine a team with President Mnangagwa here, VP (Constantino) Chiwenga there, VP (Kembo) Mohadi there, Chamisa there, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube there. Everyone has his strengths and weaknesses and I am of the opinion that if forces and ideas are combined, we will get Zimbabwe out of this mess. The first thing is Zimbabwe must have stability and the situation out there is threatening big time. All of us will be losers.”
He warned that if the current leaders do not act now, all of them risk being on the wrong side of history.
“I am not fighting the party, I am not fighting any leader. I have just said cartels must go, corruption is harming the good efforts being made by the leadership, so there is no reason then to suspend me. Why would you suspend me for naming non-members of the party?” he asked.
“When we named the likes of (Zanu PF secretary for administration) Obert Mpofu, (Presidential Affairs minister) Joram Gumbo and others who have positions in the party, what you (Mnangagwa) only did was to set up a commission, which commission died a stillbirth. It could not even see the light of day. They have not even sat for a single meeting. So that was a minor crime to challenge a whole secretary of administration of the party and you smiled at it.
“Now we have touched non-members of the party, they do not even have a membership card of the party except for (Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairperson) Tafadzwa Musarara. (Green Fuels boss) Billy (Rautenbach) doesn’t even know how to chant a slogan and the leadership saw it fit to make sure they crush our political careers and save this (Green Fuels boss) Billy (Rautenbach) and (Sakunda Holdings CEO) Kuda (Tagwirei)?”
He said as youths, they were planning to host an all-stakeholders’ anti-corruption summit in Harare next week, before forcing Mnangagwa and Chamisa to the negotiating table by February 21 — a day which coincides with the late former President Robert Mugabe’s birthday.
The day has since been declared a public holiday.
But Mnangagwa on Friday rubbished suggestions that he should talk to Chamisa.
Speaking during a clean-up campaign in Banket, Mnangagwa said Chamisa should wait for another election cycle in 2023.
“To those who are prone to violence, give peace a chance. Our laws call for elections after every five years and in any elections, there are winners and losers. So if you are a loser, celebrate with us and leave things that made you lose,” he said.
“As winners, we will continue doing what is good for our people like alleviating their problems.”
Contacted for comment, MDC deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka insisted that Mnangagwa lost the July 2018 presidential race, hence the opposition’s refusal to recognise his presidency.
“We will continue pointing out that Mnangagwa stole an election and this year we are going to claim our victory,” he said.