Rogue senior Zanu-PF officials who fancy themselves political gurus are using youths to push their factional agendas and the ruling party will not tolerate such behaviour, President Mugabe has said.
The Head of State and Government and Zanu-PF President and First Secretary was addressing tens of thousands of people at Great Zimbabwe Monument yesterday, where the multitudes had converged for the 21st February Movement celebrations that marked his 92nd birthday.
President Mugabe said various factors – including illegal Western sanctions on Zimbabwe – had resulted in unemployment, closure of companies and lack of finance for youth programmes.
That situation was now being taken advantage of by both Zanu-PF officials and external elements to bribe youths so that they engage in destructive factionalist activities.
“The British and Americans, in their cunning ways, as usual, have also utilised such opportunity to offer huge sums of money to individuals both within and outside the party so as to cause factionalism, which has greatly affected the youth, especially as of the recent past,” he said.
“Factionalism, factionalism, and I repeat, factionalism has no space in our party Zanu-PF. We should be united and use proper channels to solve our differences.
“The genesis of factionalism seems to be coming from senior members of the party, the so called political gurus who are using the youth in pursuit of their evil interests, taking advantage of the challenges affecting the youth today.
“I must say even us the leaders we are at times behind these youth. We have got to understand that as we destroy the culture of respect amongst ourselves, we are destroying the unity of our nation and oneness that we need for our people to continue to work together.
“Hatizvide, nyaya yezvigaro hakuwanikwe nomutowo iwowo, hakuwanikwe nekutukana pakati pedu. There is only one way, just one way, which is Zanu way to any position or positions in the party.
“It is the way of the people, you must be chosen by the people and the people must see you and judge you from your work, from what you do, what you say, how you act, how you interact.
“Are you a well-behaved person? Are you a hard worker? What record have you mumusangano to deserve this position or that position?”
President Mugabe said there was need for harmony between youths and war veterans.
“I’m sure the youth want to work together with the war veterans and find one direction. We want principles and discipline on both sides, the youth and war veterans,” he said.
“Hapana zvekuti ndisu chete, aiwa zvenyu zvekuti ndisu chete hatidi. The war was fought for us all so now together we must find our way to the problems that we face together, but you (youths) have a lot to learn from the war veterans because they are experienced.
“Vava vakuru, vakarwa hondo, but I don’t want them to be bullied, izvo kwete.
President Mugabe said he will accord the youth all the support they need.
“Party yanga yakuda kurasika. Saka if the youth is lost we are lost, even if the women are lost, we are lost.
“So the wings need to be strong and there should be unity. This issue of insulting each other, we say down with it.
“We should be united. What has gone wrong? The people showed that they are rallying behind us in 2013.”