Zanu PF’s ageing youth leader defies calls to quit

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HARARE – Absolom Sikhosana, the Zanu PF youth secretary,  yesterday branded as “imperialist machinations”, mounting calls that he steps down to make way for a younger leader.
Sikhosana, 61, told the Daily News in a telephone interview that he will not relinquish his post.

As the Zanu PF youth league prepares to host its conference scheduled to commence in Harare tomorrow, Sikhosana said all those demanding his ouster were “agents of imperialists” hell-bent on destabilising the 51-year-old liberation movement.

“You people always say Zanu PF is led by old people, but remember it is the oldest revolutionary party in the country,” Sikhosana told the Daily News.

“We started the struggle in the 1950s and 60’s and up to this day we are still there.

“I wonder why people like you are agitating for us to leave office when you are not part of Zanu PF.

“You want us to be replaced by inexperienced people who will be fooled by the machinations of the West.

“We say no, you shall continue to see the old guard leading the party right from president (Robert) Mugabe to Sikhosana,” he said.

“We are not going anywhere. The old guard will be found from the presidium right down to the youth league.

“It is only imperialists who are using our sons and daughters to try and subvert the revolution.

“As for now, we will always be there because we cannot let inexperienced people take over the party.

“If we let them take over the party, they will be fooled by imperialists to drink poison thinking it’s a healthy drink. No ways!

“That will never happen.”

Sikhosana added that all was set for the youth league conference. “Zanu PF has never failed. Zanu PF will never fail. We will successfully host the youth conference that starts from Thursday to Sunday,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Mujuru and Mnangagwa camps are strategically positioning themselves to win elections at the conference.

For the post of deputy secretary for youth affairs, Midlands province and Midlands State University student Luis Matutu will battle it out with Kudzai Chipanga from Manicaland.

Matutu is reportedly linked to the Mnangagwa faction while Chipanga is said to have the backing of Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, who is said to belong to the Mujuru faction.

Chipanga was upbeat yesterday, confident that he would win.

“There is nothing to stop me.

“I have most provinces behind me and when all is said and done, I will emerge the winner,” she said.

Varaidzo Mupunga from Harare province, who is eyeing the secretary for administration post, was also confident that she will power to victory.

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