Zanu-PF should not tolerate little criminals who move around beating up people in the name of the party as this tarnishes the brand of the revolutionary party, President Mugabe has said.
He said this while addressing youths on the fourth leg of his youth interface rallies in Lupane on Friday.
His remarks were directed at a Mr Munyaradzi Shoko and his accomplices whose video of them beating up a supposed opposition member while wearing Zanu-PF regalia is circulating on social media.
Shoko is said to be a leader of an organisation called Children of Zimbabwe War Veterans’ Association (COZWA).
In the same video, Mr Shoko and one Phionah Riekert, are shown moving in a vehicle with Zanu-PF stickers chanting the slogan “munhu wese kuna Amai” (First Lady Amai Mugabe).
The President said such people were committing a crime and should be punished.
Mr Shoko is known for his notorious messages on social media attacking the Zanu-PF leadership particularly Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the country’s security agencies.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth League Kudzanayi Chipanga yesterday dissociated the party’s youths from COZWA.
There is a also letter circulating on social media reportedly signed by Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Ignatius Chombo confirming the group to be an affiliate of the ruling party.
Said President Mugabe: “I heard that there are some organisations that are moving in the name of Zanu-PF beating people saying forward with President Mugabe. We don’t do that. That is not our motto and you should not allow those small groups to spoil our name. Wherever you see them, seize them and get them out of the road . . .”
Chipanga had no kind words for COZWA and its leadership saying they were tarnishing Zanu-PF’s name.
He said the youth wing rejected COZWA’s application to be an affiliate organisation. “They (COZWA) requested to be an affiliate but we rejected that,” he said.
“We dissociate ourselves as the Youth League from their activities because they are tarnishing the name of the party. We do not want people who behave like prefects to the party and they are moving around beating up people. Zanu-PF does not believe in violence. I urge our youths to join the party and not such dubious organisations.”
Asked on the purported letter with Chombo’s signature affirming COZWA’s affiliate status, Chipanga said: “If there is a letter from Chombo, I am not aware of it but as the Youth League we dissociate ourselves from COZWA. We do not want dual allegiance. We are protecting our brand and our President. If they are moving around beating up people while wearing party regalia what message are they sending to the electorate?”
In the letter in question addressed to Saviour Kasukuwere (National Political Commissar) dated 30 April 2017, Chombo allegedly wrote: “I write to advise that Zanu-PF would like to affirm that COZWA (Reg #NAOO/16/10/16) is recognised as an affiliate of the party. It is our hope that COZWA will use its countrywide grassroots structures to conscientise the youths of the Zanu-PF ideology.
“For the avoidance of doubt the party position and records, please recognise and confirm that COZWA should be included in all party grassroots mobilisation programmes. I hope and trust you will be able to work with COZWA political commissar Munyaradzi Shoko who is totally dedicated to His Excellency, R.G Mugabe.”
Asked for a comment, Chombo referred questions to Chipanga saying he was responsible for all affiliate organisations to do with the Youth League.
Chombo terminated the conversation before responding to whether he was the author of the letter affirming COZWA’s affiliate status to Zanu-PF.
Mr Shoko yesterday confirmed that the videos circulating on social media were his.
He said the videos were shot sometime back when members of some shadowy group #Tajamukademonstrated in Harare last year. “Yes they are my videos but they are not new videos,” he said.
“The yellow car on that video does not belong to COZWA but to a member of COZWA. If that member is abusing the name of the party or that of the First Lady he should be arrested. I have realised that since last Friday there are some people who are posting messages on social media using my name saying I have apologised to the President and the First Lady. I have never issued any statement.”
Mr Shoko said he had made a police report over the matter under RRB No 3203993.