HARARE: – Zanu-PF youth leader Kudzanayi Chipanga (pictured) has made a dramatic about-turn in his condemnation of army leadership after a military takeover of Harare.
Chipanga made a public apology to the commander of the country’s defence force and the entire army.
‘We learn from our mistakes’
Chipanga said, “I as the leader of the (Zanu-PF) youth league, I have reflected and personally admitted that I have erred. I was ill-advised to read a statement which I and the youth league had not originated, (nor) authored.
“The document which I read, I was handed it over… in the morning … which was denigrating your high office and your person.
“Therefore, I kindly request General Chiwenga to please say accept my apologies on behalf of the youth league and myself.
“We are still young people, we are still growing up, we learn from our mistakes, and from this big mistake, we have learnt a lot.
“I (would) also like to emphasise that this statement I have given, I have not been pursuaded, neither behest or forced to do as such.
I’m emphasising that I have reflected on my own as a young person, as a leader of the youth league; hence I have come to this juncture of offering myself to this statement, to give this public apology.”
‘A principle we are prepared to die for’
On November 14, Chipanga told a rally that “defending the revolution and our president is an ideal we live for and if needs be it is a principle we are prepared to die for.”
He advised the army to stay out of politics.
This was a day after Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Constantino Chiwenga demanded an end to the purges of former liberation heroes and army personnel from the ruling party
In June, during a Zanu-PF youth rally in Marondera town, Chipanga said young party members would support no one but Mugabe for president.
“As long as you are there, you are our life president. There is no one with a name that qualifies to go on the ballot box except that of Gushungo (Mugabe’s clan name),” he said.
In February, at a party celebrating the presidents birthday, Chipanga said, “It’s written on earth and in heaven that our leader is RG Mugabe.
“We find it hard and impossible to talk about any other leader except yourself.”
Chipanga was detained on 15 November, during the army’s crackdown on what it called ‘rogue elements’ in Zanu-PF.
Social media and commentators have called Chipanga a pawn of Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Jonothan Moyo, considered one of President Mugabe’s key propogandists, alleging that Moyo has written Chipanga’s speeches.