SOME disgruntled former Zanu PF Youth League Bulawayo provincial executive members tried to hold a demonstration at the party’s Davies Hall offices during a meeting of the Provincial Co-ordination Committee (PCC) on Sunday as divisions continue to rock the ruling party.
The youths, led by former provincial chairperson Butholezwe Gatsi and Butholezwe Ngwenya, want the current youth league’s provincial executive to be disbanded saying elections that ushered them into office were marred by irregularities.
According to party insiders, the group was found plotting the protest at a local hotel by a member of the Bulawayo provincial executive.
“Their initial set back was that information reached the party offices that there was a planned demonstration on the day of the PCC meeting,” a Zanu PF insider said.
“Five more police officers were deployed outside Davies Hall ahead of the PCC meeting and we think that demoralised the youths from demonstrating.
“Even as the PCC started, the chairperson (Callistus Ndlovu) said he had received information that there were a group of party youths who wanted to stage a demonstration and asked what it was all about,” the insider said.
The youths are reportedly being backed by some senior Zanu PF officials in the fractured party structures that have seen rival meetings being regularly held at the war veterans Bulawayo provincial offices popularly known as Emaplankeni.
“The thing is to all those who lost in the provincial elections have formed some sort of alliance to disturb the running of party programmes in Bulawayo. They regularly hold meetings with the aim of destabilising party activities.
“On face value, it would appear as if this is the work of misguided youths, but they enjoy the backing of senior party leadership from the province,” the source said.
However, one of the disgruntled youths said they wanted to protest against youth league members who reportedly attended a party organised by gays and lesbians in December last year.
Gatsi denied knowledge of any planned demonstration saying he was not aware of the plot.
“I do not have any knowledge of that. I do not know about any demonstration,” he said.