ZANU PF youths in Bulawayo are embroiled in a serious wrangle over President Robert Mugabe’s forthcoming 92nd birthday celebrations, with rival factions fighting for control of fundraising initiatives.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Youths in various provinces under the 21st February Movement are busy mobilising resources for Mugabe’s birthday bash set to take place in Masvingo next month.
Acting Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Anna Mokgohloa is reportedly facing resistance from rival youths linked to ousted chairperson Khumbulani Mpofu and is allegedly being frustrated in her fundraising activities.
Mpofu was kicked out over corruption charges, following reports he was fleecing struggling companies in the city under the guise of raising funds for specific Zanu PF projects.
Party youths aligned to Mpofu have remained adamant that he was still in charge and was still responsible for the day-to-day activities at the provincial headquarters, in the process creating more confusion in the party.
This has not also stopped the Mokgohloa-led executive from undertaking its mandate, as it has been calling provincial meetings for the past few weeks.
The meetings have, however, exposed the fissures in the party as most of the members belonging to the Mpofu camp have been absconding.
One such meeting was last week when the province received a circular from Zanu PF headquarters in Harare, instructing them to start preparing for the 21st February Movement celebrations.
What has, however, threatened to throw the fundraising activities in disarray is that both factions are claiming to be in charge of preparations.
“Even if they do their preparations, who will they present that to? Because I am the one who is in charge of the executive and working with the province here,” Mokgohloa told journalists.
“We held a meeting to kickstart the preparations last week because the circular from Harare about the 21st February Movement came direct to my office. So far, we are in the process of compiling the list of 21st February Movement children who will come from this side. We are also about to fundraise for the trip.”
However, Cecilia Verenga, the youth league provincial secretary for administration, who is said to be linked to Mpofu, also claimed that she was in charge of the preparations.
“I am the secretary for administration for Bulawayo province, and every form of communication in the province come through my office including the circulars from the head office,” Verenga said.
“In that regard, what it means is that I am in charge of the preparations for celebrating our President’s birthday and so far, I have done a number of requirements, including updating the head office on such logistics as the number of VIPs who will attend.”
She said contrary to what Mokgohloa was saying, the national leadership still recognised Mpofu as chairman.
“Therefore, it is him who is still in charge and one that I report to, not Anna,” Verenga said.