BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Zanu PF youth league leader Pupurayi Togarepi yesterday said Mugabe, who was removed from the party leadership in November after a military intervention codenamed “Operation Restore Legacy” and replaced with his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, remains an icon and they would honour him on his birthday.
“Since February 21 has been declared a national holiday, we are taking advantage of that day to honour Mugabe. As youths, we will embark on charitable work as well spend some time with the former President. We want to have a cake and share with him. This, for us, will be a small event unlike previous ones,” he said.
Mugabe will be turning 94 this year and had it not been for the military that forced him to resign, the youth league under Kudzanai Chipanga — now expelled — was organising a big jamboree to be hosted in Nyanga.
Previously, ailing State institutions and businesses at large had been forced to fund the lavish festivities with a budget normally running into millions.
During these celebrations, Mugabe used to address thousands of youths and the party faithful. But the last two events were used for factional fights within Zanu PF as the G40 team, which had support of former First Lady Grace Mugabe, controlled the events.
“For us as youths, we believe that since this day (February 21) has been declared a holiday, it is enough honour to the former President and we shall carry on his legacy. The best way is through helping those in need and the elderly,” Togarepi said.
Over the years, Zanu PF has also been forcing villagers and civil servants, particularly teachers, to contribute towards the event. This year’s event had initially been pencilled for Nyanga before Mugabe was ousted in November.-newsday