Godwin Gomwe

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Godfrey Gomwe is a Zimbabwean born politician who is the current 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 part and is generally viewed as a Mugabe loyalist who belongs yo a group of young and energetic politicians referred to as the Young Turks.

Background

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.

Political Career

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.[1]

In August 2014, Gomwe was behind the mobilisation of dozens of youths who went to the Harare International Airport to meet president Robert Mugabe who was returning from a state visit in China. Whist giving a press to the media, Gomwe argued that he had organised the youths in order to celebrate president 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,”.[2]

Factionalism

Grace Mugabe bringing together Gomwe and Midzi

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. [2]. 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. [3]

Violence Allegations

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. [4] In Novemeber 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.[5]

Scandals

In November 2014, Gomwe was allegedly saved from an imminent arrest by the Minister of local Government Ignatius Chombo.[5] 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.[5] 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.[6]

Trivia

Gomwe is the current chairperson of the ZANU PF Youth League for Harare Province. In 2014, he was among the list of Zimbabwe's top 50 list of influential young people produced by the Zimbabwe Research Institute.

References

  1. F. Share, 5 Retained in ZANU PF Provincial Elections, "The Herald", published:2 Dec 2013,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  2. 2.0 2.1 F. Machiwenyika, Zanu-PF Youths to brief President, "Zimbabwe Situation", published:29 Aug 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  3. L. Nyakwenda, Mini Unity Accord, "The Sunday Mail", published:8 Oct 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  4. L. Mbiba, Zanu PF youths seize Johane Masowe shrine, "Daily News", published:2 Jul 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 , Zimbabwe: Chombo Saves Zanu-PF Youth Leader From Arrest, "All Africa", published:8 Nov 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  6. E. Mushava and T Chitagu, ‘Chipangano’ leader bashed ‘Chipangano’ leader bashed, "Newsday", published:13 Nov 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"