Grace ejects Zanu youth leader

Grace Mugabe ejected the newly elected Zanu (PF) youth leader, Kudzai Chipanga, from her Mazowe children’s home when youths went to endorse her nomination as chairperson of the Women’s League ahead of the Zanu (PF) congress.

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

The ejection took place in early August and was reportedly motivated by the fact that Chipanga was linked to a faction in Zanu (PF) led by Joice Mujuru.

Thousands of youths went to endorse Grace after a similar act by the Women’s League before they converged in Harare to hold a conference at which Chipanga landed the top post in the junior organ.

Senior Zanu (PF) sources told The Zimbabwean that Chipanga confronted President Robert Mugabe at a hastily-arranged meeting after the youth conference and challenged him to clarify his position on factions, accusing Grace of taking sides.

“President (Mugabe), I would like to know from you if you belong to any of the factions that exist in the party. I am asking this question because the First Lady barred me from Mazowe because I am perceived to belong to a faction led by Mai Mujuru,” Chipanga is reported to have said.

While media reports indicated that the meeting that brought together senior and junior party members to discuss the manner in which the youth conference was tense, Chipanga’s outburst has not been mentioned.

The sources said Grace, through some youths reported to belong to the Mnangagwa faction, sent a cook to order the youth leader off the premises and he obliged. “Chipanga was particularly riled that a mere cook was sent to eject him. He saw it as a way of humiliating him and Mai Mujuru. President Mugabe insisted that he was could not have a faction because he was elected by all the people in the party. He spent some minutes looking at Chipanga before responding,” said one of the sources.

The sources could not rule out the possibility of Mujuru encouraging Chipanga to ask the question as jostling for positions intensifies ahead of the December congress. The meeting was held to discuss vote buying, ill-preparedness and meddling by the party’s main wing ahead of and during the youth conference.

Tempers became heated as members traded accusations and counter-accusations. When Grace was endorsed as the Women's League top post candidate, her handlers, among them outgoing boss Oppah Muchinguri, claimed she would dispel the factionalism that has riddled the party.

When contacted for a comment on three occasions, Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said he was locked up in meetings. Efforts to talk to Chipanga were fruitless.

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