ZANU PF youth league officials have started canvassing for support ahead of their national conference slated for August this year amid reports that four candidates selected along the party’s two distinct factional lines have emerged as front runners for the deputy secretary’s post.
Party insiders told our sister paper NewsDay yesterday that lobbying for various positions had started with candidates from the factions allegedly led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emerson Mnangwagwa set to lock horns at the congress.
The national youth conference is widely believed to be used as a barometer to gauge the character of the main elective national congress.
The four candidates believed to have thrown their hats into the ring for the top post are Makoni West MP Kudzanai Chipanga who is currently the secretary for external relations, the incumbent deputy secretary for youth affairs Edson Chakanyuka, Mhondoro Ngezi MP Mike Gava who is the current political commissar and Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena.
According to sources, Chipanga who is widely believed to be in Mujuru’s camp, has backing in his home province of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and West, Masvingo, Bulawayo and parts of Matabeleland.
“Yes, I can confirm that I am in the contest though I cannot reveal more details at the moment,” Chipanga said yesterday, but declined to disclose his backers.
The incumbent deputy secretary Chakanyuka’s chances might be scuppered by his recent involvement in the alleged theft of President Mugabe’s 21st birthday presents.
Some senior official in Zanu PF confirmed that the upcoming women and youth conference will be used to gauge the December congress.
“The youth and women elections will be a reflection of the bigger record of the national congress, therefore some individuals will have to chip in with ideas and resources to help those aligned to them,” the official who refused to be named, said.