|Known for||Being Leader of Zanu-PF Youth League|
Kudzanayi Chipanga (Kudzai for short) is a politician and member of the Zanu-PF party. He is the current Secretary of Youth Affairs in the party, making him the head of the party's Youth League. Chipanga was appointed by Robert Mugabe on 3 September 2016.
Kudzai Chipanga was reportedly arrested by the military on the night of November 14 following the takeover by the military of the country. Following his arrest the Zanu-PF Youth League released a statement saying that he was fine and that they were complying with what it called the “National Democratic Project.”
Kudzai Chipanga was born in 1982 under Chief Chiduku in Chipanga Village Rusape.He was born in a family of seven, five girls and two boys.He is married to Marian Mukano and the two have three children.
Kudzai Chipanga reported that he attended his primary school education in different schools in Highfield, Budiriro, Nyazura, Mavhudzi, and Rusape.He attended Glenview High School and Nyakuipa Secondary School in Rusape.
It was reported that Kudzai Chipanga joined Zanu-PF Youth wing in early 2000.His family was reported to have been actively involved in politics. His uncle, Shadreck Chipanga is former Legislator for Makoni West and a senior ZANU PF member in Manicaland Province. Kudzai is said to have risen through the ranks of the youth league from district level up to the province, landing the post of secretary for External Affairs in the national executive in 2008, and in 2014 was elected the deputy secretary for Youth League. In 2013, he participated in the primary elections of Zanu -PF in Makoni West constituency and was nominated to represent the party in the harmonized elections in which he was defeated Webber Chinyadza of MDC who was the sitting legislator of the constituency.In 2009, he was elected to be a central committee member of ZANU PF. Chipanga indicated that he graduated from the Border Gezi Training Centre in Mt Darwin, where he did his national service programme after completion of secondary school.In 2016 Chipanga was appointed by the President to be Secretary of Youth Affairs in the party, 5 months following the vote of no confidence on its former secretary, Pupurai Togarepi in March 2016. Chipanga had acted in the position.
Involvemet in Zanu-PF Factionalism
At the end of 2014, the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe resulted in factional fighting in Zanu-PF with two main opposing sides; reportedly one faction led by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa (called Lactose Faction) and the other by the first lady Grace Mugabe (called the G40 faction in the media). Chipanga was reported to be in the G40 camp. In early 2016, the factional fights saw Chipanga speak publicly against war veterans and government-owned media (Zimpapers), believed then to be supporting the Mnangagwa faction.
Confrontation with War Veterans & The Herald
In February 2016, following reports that war veterans were unhappy with the way the G40 faction were having their way in the party without any recourse, Chipanga dared the war veterans to a fight. He also described them as "sickening rabble-rousers".On 16 February 2016,he was reported to have said,
If we (the youths) say let us go to war today, how many war veterans are there? They are very few. We (the youths) constitute 65 percent of this country . . . So be ready and we are going to call you when the time comes . . . They are not going to do anything. We will give them a 100-metre race and they will fail to run. They are sick with sugar (diabetes) (sic).
A few days later, Chipanga threatened to incite the youths to demonstrate against Zimpapers, for reporting that "seems to favour a certain faction,"..
Chipanga's words against the war veterans attracted criticism as well as praise from President Mugabe athough he reprimanded him for being rude to the war veterans who Mugabe said were Chipanga's elders.
Vote of No Confidence in Youth League leaders
In early March 2016, Chipanga led the Zanu-PF Youth League passing a “vote of no confidence” in its secretary and Politburo member Pupurai Togarepi and two other senior officials in the wing. Though no reason was given, he was believed to be part of the faction fighting within the party. Togarepi's ouster effectively elevated Chipanga to the helm of the Youth League.
Million Man March
Chipanga spearheaded the organising of the Million Man March in May 2016. Though he said the march's objective was to stand in solidarity with the president of the party, Robert Mugabe, it was widely believed and reported (including in the government-owned Media) that the march was targeted at demonstrating against the other faction and effectively displaying the strength of the G40 faction. The march took place on the 25th of May 2016.
Youth Interface Rallies
As new head of the Zanu-PF Youth League, Chipanga organised what they referred to as Youth Interface Rallies, the first one being held on June 2 2017. The rallies were used as a platform by Chipanga, Grace Mugabe and the president Robert Mugabe to fight the Lacoste faction and specifically target Emmerson Mnangagwa. Progressively, the rallies 'exposed' Mnangagwa as a faction leader and one that was planning to unconstitutionally succeed Mugabe.
At the Youth Interface Rally held on Saturday 4 November, Mugabe threatened that he would fire Mnangagwa, asking if he had a made a mistake in appointing him vice president. Two days later, on 6 November, Mnangagwa was fired from the post of Vice President of Zimbabwe.
Triggered by the firing of Mnangagwa, a week later, the army, led by General Constantino Chiwenga announced that they were ready to step in to right the problems in Zanu-PF factionalism fights. Chipanga then released a statement accusing the Zimbabwe Defence Forces of misappropriating The $15 Billion Diamond Money and warning that the Youth League were ready to die for Mugabe.
We as Zanu Pf Youth League are a lion which has awakened and found its voice, therefore we will not sit idly and fold our hands whilst cheap potshots and threats are made against the legitimate and popularly elected Leader of the revolutionary party, ZANU PF and Zimbabwe,His Excellency, Head of State and Government and Commander In Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
This statement is therefore issued without regret, fear or compunction. Defending the revolution and our Leader and President is an ideal we live for and if need be it is a principle we are prepared to die for.
On the evening of the 14th of November 2017, Chipanga was reportedly picked up by the military and taken into custody.
The next day, the Youth League posted on Twitter that Chipanga was fine and that he had asked the League to comply with the new "National Democratic Project".
- Chengetai Zvauya (September 5, 2014). "Iam a border Gezi:Chipanga". Weekend Post. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- Hildegarde, Chipanga insulted us all!, The Herald, Published:24 February 2016, Retrieved: 26 May 2016
- Chipanga threatens The Herald, The Herald, Published:18 February 2016, Retrieved: 26 May 2016
- Zvamaida Murwira, Togarepi ‘booted out’, The Herald, Published:8 March 2016, Retrieved: 26 May 2016
- Don’t Hide Behind The Barrel Of A Gun. We’re Ready To Die for Mugabe: Chipanga, Zanu- PF Youth League Tells General Chiwenga,Pindula News, Published:14 November 2017, Retreived: 15 November 2017