The Zimbabwe Youth Action Platform (ZYAP), which claims loyalty to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Monday threatened to manhandle Zhuwao, Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, accusing them of being disrespectful to war veterans. The three ministers allegedly belong to a Zanu PF faction dubbed G40, but they have all denied its existence.
But speaking at the launch of a $10 million youth fund in Harare yesterday, Zhuwao said anyone with a problem with him should come forward and he “will deal” with them.
“I read in the newspaper today [yesterday] that there are those who claim to have been sent by war veterans. Do not think you can come to tell me what has been said by the war veterans. If they are genuine war veterans, they will speak to me,” he said.
“Do not think that you can come here and threaten me especially at a Press conference. If anyone is against this, come forward and I will deal with you.”
Zhuwao, who is a nephew of President Robert Mugabe, said the youths were not sent by the war veterans, but by whites and other officials.
“You are a sell-out and you were sent by the whites,” he said.
“So (go and tell) tell the whites that I am coming for you. We are not going back with indigenisation. Let the foreigners know that you cannot use our youths, you cannot attempt to tarnish the image of our war vets.”
Zhuwao said he had utmost respect for war veterans like Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who was supposed to be the guest of honour at the function to launch the Localised Empowerment Acceleration Facility (LEAF) meant to finance entrepreneurial youths.
Zhuwao alleged that the youths were sent by people opposed to the indigenisation policy.
He said no amount of threats of violence would stop him from visiting the National Heroes’ Acre where his mother Sabina Mugabe is buried.
“You cannot tell me that you will stop me from going to the Heroes’ Acre where Sabina is buried, you, as who? Go and tell those who sent you that Zhuwao said come forward and I will deal with them because those who sent you are cowards who don’t want indigenisation to go ahead,” Zhuwao said.
But ZAYP president Tonderai Chidawa yesterday maintained his stance on Zhuwao and other ministers.
“I won’t lose sleep over Zhuwao’s utterances. He doesn’t have the interests of the party and country at heart. Zimbabwe is facing economic challenges and his 10% taxation scares away investors. This is daylight robbery and that 10% will not benefit youths, but just a few individuals.”
Chidawa said his organisation had more than 100 000 youths including the Zimbabwe Congress of Students’ Unions, children of war veterans and National Youth Service members who were willing to fight for the cause of war veterans and defend the heritage of Zimbabwe.
“Let them come to the Heroes’ Acre and they will face it,” he said.