Lloyd Shunje in Mutare
MUTARE - The factional wars ravaging Zanu PF last week played out in the open in Mutare when Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao disparaged the Justice Wadyajena-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth and Indigenisation which he accused of pursuing a successionist agenda.
Addressing youths and party supporters in Mutare during a youth expo last week, Zhuwao dismissed the committee's findings that most of the loans accessed by the youths for projects had been abused as all the toured projects were derelict.
"A committee of 15 members toured Victoria Falls but instead of coming up with issues that affect the youth, they were only attacking. They never bothered to look into issues like the absence of offices where the youth can be assisted there in Victoria Falls or even here in Manicaland.
"I liken this committee to a Tsikamutanda witch hunt because 15 Members of Parliament came from Harare intending to tour four projects and out of the four, they only focused on one project and never bothered to come to Manicaland to see the wonderful job that you are doing here. It shows that they had nothing to offer for the youths," said Zhuwao.
The findings from tours by the committee indicate to gross abuse of the Youth Development Fund which was disbursed to the tune of US$40 million by CABS, Stanbic Bank, IDBZ to support the youth to embark on income-generating projects since 2012.
In Matabeleland North, particularly in Victoria Falls, people did not mince their words and fingered Economic Development Minister Obert Mpofu as having used his influence to get his relatives to benefit from the fund, with 15 beneficiaries used the surname Mpofu.
Zhuwao, alongside the beleaguered party national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, are alleged to be G40 leaders fighting tooth and nail to prevent Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa from succeeding President Robert Mugabe.
Wadyejena, on the other hand, is said to be in the Team Lacoste faction which wants to see the VP becoming the natural successor to the President.
"I want to apologise to those who work in the Ministry of Youths for the shameful behaviour displayed by other members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee who were out to intimidate youths by their failed Tsikamutanda acts.
"Report to me directly if you feel victimised for working in the ministry by those who want to abuse the committee for a secessionist agenda and in that I specifically mean members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth and Indigenisation," Zhuwao charged.
Manicaland provincial youth chairperson Mubuso Chinguno further tore into Wadyajena, describing him as an opposition agent.
"Wadyajena akuita semunhu weopposition manje, hunhu hwake hausisiriwo hunotarisirwa (Wadyajena is now behaving like an opposition agent, his behaviour is unbecoming)," said Chinguno.local