BY FARAI MATIASHE
Tension is rising in the Zanu PF youth league with some members of the national executive accusing deputy secretary Lewis Matutu of using his close links to one of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sons to make unilateral decisions and personalise the wing.
Cracks widened in the youth league when Matutu recently released a list of party bigwigs and senior government officials he alleged were corrupt, among them Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira, who has since been arrested.
Sources said Matutu, who is close to Mnangagwa’s son — Emmerson Jnr — was targeting perceived rivals and making decisions without consulting his boss, Pupurai Togarepi, putting him at odds with other executive members.
“He is now making decisions without informing Togarepi, making himself the league boss. Matutu is now walking around with several bodyguards and travelling in a convoy,” the source said.
“Togarepi is caught in between as it has become hard for him to take sides between the two factions.”
Insiders said last Monday some members of the league tried to force youth league commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu to retract his statement that Wedza South MP Tinoda Machakaire had been cleared of corruption after he was included on the name-and-shame list.
Addressing party supporters in Wedza at the weekend, Tsenengamu said they had since cleared Machakaire of any wrongdoing.
But the move has reportedly angered Matutu.
“They tried to force Tsenengamu to take back his words, but he stood his ground,” the source said.
“There is disharmony in the league because most members are now turning against Matutu, saying he is now diverting from the usual business of the campaign.”
But Matutu yesterday said the youths had no mandate to clear people of corruption charges and claimed allegations against him were coming from individuals who wanted to divert attention from the ongoing corruption cases.
“There is no factionalism in the youth league. It is lame for anyone to say that there is factionalism,” he said.
“They are trying to divide the youth league with money as bribes to cover up their corrupt activities. We are aware, we are not going to pay attention. We are denouncing corruption.”
“Tsenengamu told me that he did not say Machakaire was cleared.”
Matutu said he was taking orders from Togarepi and had not usurped his role.