|Political party||Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front|
Godfrey Gomwe is a Zimbabwean politician. Gomwe was the chairperson of the of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Harare province youth league. He is an active member of the nationalist party and was generally viewed as a Mugabe loyalist who belonged to a group of young and energetic politicians referred to as the Young Turks.
In January 2019, following the January 2019 Protests. Gomwe was reportedly arrested over the murder of two people. He was however subsequently released ostensibly on the orders of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
Gomwe hails from the high-density suburb of Mbare in Harare. The area is regarded as on of the ZANU PF strongholds in the Harare province dominated by the opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change. Gomwe is believed to have grown up in this suburb and eventually amassed political support which saw him rise up the ladder of the revolutionary party to land the post of the Chairman of the Youth League in the party.
Gomwe is believed to have taken advantage of ZANU-PF popular support in the Mbare community of Harare. During the primary elections held in 2013, Gomwe was elected chairperson of the ZANU PF youth league for Harare province. He took over from Jim Kunaka who lost the elections.
In August 2014, Gomwe was behind the mobilisation of dozens of youths who went to the Harare International Airport to meet former president Robert Mugabe who was returning from a state visit in China. Whilst giving a press to the media, Gomwe argued that he had organised the youths in order to celebrate Mugabe's successful trip which resulted in a number of deals. Gomwe was quoted as saying; “It is with great pleasure that the Zanu-PF Youth League in Harare wishes to extend its gratitude and congratulations to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who is also the President and First Secretary of Zanu PF on the manner in which he has been received and the victories he has scored for Zim Asset on his trip to China,”.
Gomwe was dismissed as Harare Province Youth Chairman after a fall-out between him and Saviour Kasukuwere concerning a candidate for Harare East by-elections. A vote of no confidence was passed on Gomwe for disrespecting party leaders.
Gomwe was on the forefront of criticising his seniors such in the Harare province accusing them of harbouring divisive tendencies in ZANU-PF. He accused the then provincial chairman Amos Midzi and central committee member Tendai Savanhu of sabotaging the entrance of Grace Mugabe into politics after she was nominated for the post of the Women's League in ZANU PF. Tendai Savanhu is alleged to have remarked that Harare Province had no space for Grace Mugabe, and instead, she was supposed to go a find a political home in Mashonaland west province which is Robert Mugabe's home area. Outside Harare province, Gomwe was one of the people who publicly accused former secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa of divisive politics. Mutasa was viewed as the stronghold in the Mujuru camp led by vice president Joice Mujuru. He accused the Mujuru camp of plotting to unseat Robert Mugabe from power. During the first episode of the "Meet the People" rallies held by the first lady and Secretary of the Women's League, Gomwe was brought to the podium "to sign a mini-unity accord" together with Amos Midzi. The first lady made a physical gesture of bringing together Gomwe and Midzi who had been fighting on the grounds of factionalism.
In July 2014, Gomwe was alleged to have led a group of hundred ZANU PF youths to Budiriro in Harare where they destroyed a shrine belonging to an apostolic sect. This was after members of this apostolic sect and assaulted journalists and Zimbabwe Republic Police officers who had come to calm the situation. The Vapostori of the apostolic sect had also attacked and injured journalists from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and this, in the eyes of Gomwe and company, was an insult to the integrity of the nation and president Mugabe as the head of state and government. Hence Gomwe together with some ZANU PF supporters had gone to assert their dominance through burning and destroying the shrine. In November 2014, Gomwe was also fingered in the violence that occurred at Nyashadzamwari Housing Cooperative among Zanu PF supporters. The situation was only saved when the anti-riot force of the Zimbabwe Republic Police from the dog section arrived and dispersed the crowds.
In November 2014, Gomwe was allegedly saved from an imminent arrest by the Minister of local Government Ignatius Chombo. It is reported that Gomwe was accused of organising youths who assaulted members of the Herbert Chitepo Housing cooperative in the Harare south area. It was reported that Gomwe was saved from embarrassment when Chombo stood and pleaded with the police to personally hand him over to the police. Gomwe was also accused of former youth league chairmen Jim Kunaka's abduction and assault by unknown assailants. Kunaka was beaten and admitted at a local centre where he eventually recovered. During a bedside interview, Kunaka openly accused Gomwe of plotting the assault.
Criminal Charges and Suicide Attempt
In 2015 Gomwe was arrested together with other accomplices facing criminal charges of having swindled people of their money using the name of the first lady, Grace Mugabe. The Zanu PF member was said to have extorted money amounting to around $46 000 from housing co-operatives in Glen Norah using the name of Grace Mugabe. Gomwe had initially applied for bail but the application was turned down on the grounds that Gomwe had proven that he was suicidal by attempting to shoot himself as well as taking rat poison.
Criminal Assault Charges
It is alleged that Gomwe insulted Zanu PF member Abraham Samushonga by calling him “Gamatox” and insulted him using vulgar words in a telephone conversation. He was also accussed of insulting Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators’ Association (Ziliwaca) executive Winnie Madekufamba at the Zanu PF's congress in December last year. Gomwe was found guilty of criminal insult and contravention of Telecommunications Act and sentenced to 70 hours community service at Budiriro Primary School. However, Gomwe is reported to have said that he will contest the ruling at the High Court.
- In 2014, he was among the list of Zimbabwe's top 50 list of influential young people produced by the Zimbabwe Research Institute.
- Tony Karombo, Double-murder accused Zanu PF youth leader Gomwe ‘freed on Chiwenga orders’, Zimlive, Published:17 January 2019, Retrieved:17 January 2019
- F. Machiwenyika, Zanu-PF Youths to brief President, "Zimbabwe Situation", published:29 Aug 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
- Obey Manayati, Zanu PF youth leader blasts Kasukuwere, NewsDay, Published: May 12, 2015, Retrieved: September 4, 2015
- Lloyd Mbiba, Masimirembwa ousted as provincial chairman, Daily News, Published: June 11, 2015, Retrieved: September 4, 2015
- L. Nyakwenda, Mini Unity Accord, "The Sunday Mail", published:8 Oct 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
- L. Mbiba, Zanu PF youths seize Johane Masowe shrine, Daily News, Published:2 July 2014, Retrieved:17 Dec 2014
- , Zimbabwe: Chombo Saves Zanu-PF Youth Leader From Arrest, All Africa, Published:8 November 2014, Retrieved:17 December 2014
- E. Mushava and T Chitagu, ‘Chipangano’ leader bashed ‘Chipangano’ leader bashed, Newsday, Published:13 November 2014, Retrieved:17 Dec 2014
- Tendai Rupapa Gomwe in suicide attempt, The Herald, Published: June 2, 2015, Retrieved: June 2, 2015
- Paidamoyo Muzulu, Gomwe judgment today, NewsDay, Published: September 1, 2015, Retrieved: September 4, 2015
- Gomwe gets 70 hrs community service, says will appeal at High Court, New Zimbabwe, Published: September 2, 2015, Retrieved: September 4, 2015