TENSION is mounting fast within Zanu PF as rival factions gear up for a tough fight to control the party’s youth league ahead of the much-anticipated elective congress in December.
Sources in the party said the youth league is scheduled to hold its congress in July where the new executive would be installed, but jostling and mudslinging are rife as aspiring candidates position themselves.
“The battle is turning nasty as faction leaders in the party are strategically positioning their candidates in preparation for the December congress,” said a highly placed Zanu PF official.
Potential candidates vying for the post of deputy secretary for youth affairs, a powerful post that automatically makes one a politburo member, are incumbent Edison Chakanyuka (Midlands), Mayor Wadyajena (Midlands), Kudzanai Chiponga (Manicaland), Innocent Hamandishe (Harare) and Mike Gava (Mashonaland West).
“There is serious mudsliding within the youth league. Wadyajena recently took his fight to parliament where he exposed how those likely to contest in the forthcoming youth league elections have failed to repay youth fund loans from several banks,” a source said. “His aim was to tarnish the images of those interested in contesting, yet he has his own flaws like resorting to vote-buying.”
Some Zanu PF provincial leaders in the Midlands accuse Wadyajena of trying to buy his way into the politburo.
“Wadyajena bought his way to the province last time and he cannot be allowed to continue using money to buy power. He has been dishing money to youth chairpersons so he can secure his way into the politburo,” said a disgruntled provincial youth leader from Midlands.
Efforts to get comment from Wadyajena were fruitless.
Zanu PF insiders said there would be drama in the Midlands province because the two contenders are from the Mnangagwa camp and neither is prepared to step down. Sources also said the Manicaland and Harare aspiring candidates are being backed by Vice President Joice Mujuru’s faction.
The jockeying for the youth league posts at a time the party is still to fully address the fallout from the acrimonious and chaotic provincial polls is likely to leave the party further divided.