Zanu-PF youth leader suspended by ED 2030

As political maneuvers to extend President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s term beyond 2028 through the back door gain momentum, a Zanu-PF youth leader opposed to the move has been suspended for resistance and faces expulsion from the party.

The campaign to extend Mnangagwa’s term until 2030 began in earnest in Masvingo and has now moved to the Midlands province, the president’s political stronghold.

Although Mnangagwa has said he does not want a third term, his Midlands allies insist he will still be in office in 2030, something that needs a change to the constitution to happen.
The infighting over this issue is beginning to claim political victims as tensions rise.

Danmore Mambondiyani, Zanu-PF undersecretary for administration, has been banned from carrying out his duties amid allegations of vote buying and his opposition to the 2030 plan.

Officially, Mambondiyani is accused of bringing a bag allegedly full of money to a national youth executive meeting before going to youth affairs undersecretary John Paradza and youth affairs secretary Tinotenda Machakaire to give them 200 and 100 dollars respectively.

Machakaire is Minister of Youth Empowerment, while Paradza is Deputy Minister of Environment.
However, insiders say the charges against Mambondiyani actually arise from a Zanu-PF national executive meeting on May 9 in which he refused to chant slogans demanding the extension of Mnangagwa’s term beyond the constitutional limit of two five-year terms.

The national youth executive meeting was organized to co-opt eight members of the national executive.

Deputy Finance Minister Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, the president’s son, was appointed deputy foreign secretary in a process that was denounced as an imposition.

Other appointments include Deputy Sports Minister Emily Jasaya co-opted as Undersecretary of Mines and Charles Munganasa as Undersecretary of Local Government.

Munganasa, a board member of the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), was recently appointed interim chief executive of the propaganda megaphone.

During the meeting, Mambondiyani was asked why he was not chanting slogans promoting the extension of Mnangagwa’s mandate beyond 2028, when everyone else was doing it.

Zanu-PF youth league sources say the real reason Mambondiyani is in trouble is that he is known for saying Mnangagwa should hand over power to his deputy Constantino Chiwenga once his term ends in 2028.

In a letter to Mambondiyani, Zanu-PF Legal Affairs Youth Secretary Phineas Makombe writes:

“Please note that on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the National Executive Council of the Youth League, you exhibited conduct unbecoming of a National Executive Member. Chapter 6, Article 38 (presentation of vacancies), section (554), establishes the conduct and manner in which co-optations or vacancies will be presented in any party structure.

“However, on the contrary, you yourself, Cde Mambondiyani, came with a bag supposedly full of money, went to the Undersecretary of Youth Affairs, Cde T Machakaire, opened the bag in full view of the media and of the National Executive Council and gave Cde Paradza 200 United States Dollars and Cde Machakaire US$100.

“In addition, you publicly chanted ‘Vote Cde Mambondiyani’ for a certain vacant position in the National Executive Council of the Youth League, before and during the meeting. The previous conduct in view of the media implies that the vacancies or positions of the party can be acquired through the purchase of votes, these actions also ignore the constitutional provisions established in Chapter 6, Articles 38 sec (550) (6)”.

Makombe added: “The chanting of your name yourself during the main meeting and in a disrespectful manner is consistent with Chapter (6) Article (38) sec (550) (9), while this refers to Article 37 sec 549 ( 8) (11). In view of the above charges, you are hereby prohibited from acting on behalf of or as Deputy Secretary of Administration of the Executive Council of the National Youth League under the terms of Chapter (5) Article (36) sec ( 528).

A Zanu-PF insider said Mambondiyani’s real crime is his opposition to the 2030 plan.
“He is very clear that Mnangagwa should not extend his term, but should give Chiwenga the opportunity to take office when his term ends in 2028,” the source said.

Mnangagwa and Chiwenga are locked in a fierce power struggle for succession.
Although they were allies when they overthrew the late former president Robert Mugabe in 2017, they have been fighting over the outstanding issue of party leadership.

Their agreement was that Mnangagwa would serve one term and leave in 2023 for Chiwenga to come in, but the president reneged on that commitment.

Now he really wants to extend his government beyond 2028 to 2030, something Chiwenga and his allies like Mambondiyani fiercely oppose.