Harare - The leader of one of the country's largest students body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu), Tonderai Chidawa, has been expelled over allegations of sexual abuse and for claiming to be the son of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zicosu is Zimbabwe's second largest student representative body and is aligned to President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.
Addressing journalists in Harare on Tuesday afternoon, Zicosu vice president Stanley Moyo and other members of the student union’s national executive announced Chidawa's expulsion after allegations arose that he abused female students and victimised others by claiming to be Mnangagwa's son.
“In accordance to section 33.5 of the union constitution Chidawa is fired for putting the name of the union into disrepute by using his position to sexually abuse young, innocent female students,” said Moyo.
“He has also been going around claiming to be the son of Zimbabwe's vice president Honourable Emmerson Mnangagwa using a fake national identity card that bears the name Tonderai Mnangagwa, and not his real name, Tonderai Chidawa,” Moyo said.
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Moyo added that "Chidawa was also abusing his position as the Zicosu president by forcing students around the country to advance political agendas of unnamed senior Zanu-PF officials rather than the country’s President Mugabe".
A dramatic moment ensued at the end of the meeting when Chidawa stormed the press conference and accused Moyo and other senior members of the student body of being sponsored by expelled former Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru.
“I don’t know what these guys are talking about, this is just rubbish. They have been sent by Gamatox group [Mujuru group]," shouted Chidawa. “I am not going to say much to journalists at the moment, but will wait for directions from Zanu-PF headquarters.”
A political analyst who spoke to News24 said this was "clear evidence that infighting within Zanu-PF has also spilled into the students union body".
Mujuru, with 16 ministers and several other top Zanu-PF officials, was fired last year over allegations they were plotting to kill Mugabe.
Recently Mujuru openly told Mugabe that she could never be expelled from the “genuine” original Zanu-PF, while also openly querying for the first time the mysterious death of her husband, General Solomon Mujuru, whose remains were found after an inferno at their Beatrice farm in 2011.