Several youths from Zimbabwe’s ruling party Zanu PF, and other affiliate organisations have disowned and dissociated themselves from a statement issued by youth leader Kudzai Chipanga supposedly on behalf of youths.
Student representatives from ZINASU, members of the National Youth Service (Border Gezi), and Zanu PF youths from different provinces all disowned the statement entirely, or refused any association with it.
A youth leader within Zanu PF, who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution, said the statement issued by Chipanga had not come from within the Youth League, and that youths in the party genuinely respected and feared the military.
“If you look at the video. He was uncomfortable. He was jittery. He has been sacrificed. Remember the rank and file of the youth is not in support of this, or they are genuinely scared. This is the military. This is the army. Not the salvation army. The whole army. Its not a game.” he said in a WhatsApp text sent to Khuluma Afrika.
Norton Legislator Temba Mliswa agreed that he statement had not come from Chipanga.
“The young man can’t even read the words, beyond him being jittery, it is clear that He is not the author of the speech, and also that the speech never came from anyone in the Youth League”
Mliswa added that the statement was all bravado but showed genuine fear from Chipanga, giving credence to what the Zanu PF leader stated to Khuluma.
“Chipanga is the first youth leader to have bodyguards. Urikutyei?” he mocked, on Twitter.
Several young Zimbabweans also took to social media to distance themselves from the statement which called on young people to ‘stand up and be counted’, and encouraged youths to confront the army, stating that such actions would only result in civilians getting ‘serious beatings’.