ZANU PF secretary for youth affairs Absolom Sikhosana has urged his party’s new Bulawayo youth league executive to be wary of entangling itself in activities that could lead to its dissolution and gear up for the 2018 general elections.
The party’s previous Bulawayo youth executives were rocked by factionalism and infighting leading to suspensions or dissolutions before completing their terms.
Sikhosana told the newly-elected youth executive in a brief meeting in Bulawayo on Saturday they should spearhead the strengthening of party structures in preparation for the 2018 elections. Bulawayo province has been Zanu PF’s Achilles heel since the opposition MDC started contesting elections in 2000, with the party failing to win a single directly contested parliamentary or council seat.
“We held a brief meeting with him (Sikhosana) on Saturday. Basically he was congratulating us for winning (internal) elections. However, he cautioned us about involving ourselves in factionalism or corrupt activities that could lead to us being suspended or dissolved further tarnishing the image of the party in the process,” a source who attended the meeting, said.
The new executive elected in December last year is led by Khumbulani Mpofu. The Zanu PF youth league Bulawayo province has been haunted by controversy over the years.
Late last year, it was embroiled in an extortion scam whereby some youth members were accused of demanding money from white-owned Bulawayo companies as “protection fees” soon after Zanu PF’s victory in the July 31 general elections. There was debate (at Saturday’s meeting) on whether the youths (involved in the extortion) should be handed over to the police or taken through party disciplinary processes.
“There was pointing of fingers with some senior members accusing Sikhosana of handpicking members of the provincial youth executive, some with known criminal records,” the source said.