The garrulously verbose and ideologically vacuous Chris Mutsvangwa has blamed his loss in the ZANU PF primary elections on everyone except the fact that ZANU PF voters have rejected the 15 November 2017 coup. As the voice of the coup and the most vocal proponent of Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mutsvangwa’s defeat signifies a rejection of Mnangagwa. Whilst Mutsvangwa disingenuously places blame on so-called G40, he needs to recognise that the demographic construct that he refers to as G40 is unconquerable and has registered one of the numerous triumphs that we will be seeing over the next five years.

by Patrick Zhuwao 

G40 is unconquerable because it goes beyond the few so-called king-pins who were expelled from ZANU PF. G40 is unconquerable because it is in tune with the demographic reality that 77% of Zimbabwe’s population are young people. G40 is unconquerable because it is the realisation of the demographic dividend that is due out of the investments made in youth by President Mugabe, including in the National Youth Service. G40 is unconquerable because it represents a realignment and dramatic change of the political system.

This realignment and dramatic change in the political system is a political science phenomenon that was referred to by V. O. Key Jr in 1955 as a critical election.

The G40 concept is central to a critical election that would have been completed in the 2023 elections as all the transitional provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe would have been fulfilled. These include the suspension of the Presidential running mate provisions in the 6th Schedule and the end of the proportional representation women’s quota of 60 National Assembly members. However, the military coup of 15th November 2017 has hastened matters to the point that the 2018 election will be the critical election.
The G40 concept has its origins in generational renewal processes in ZANU PF which were started in 2002 after the defeat of the 2000 Draft Constitution and the significant electoral inroads made by the MDC in the 2000 parliamentary elections. The generational renewal processes were initiated by President Robert Mugabe with the resuscitation of the National Youth Service under Youth Minister Border Gezi.

The National Youth Service trained over 80,000 members some of whom were absorbed into the public service as security sector personnel, health professionals, teachers and civil servants. These 80,000 NYS graduates are in all villages and streets in Zimbabwe. Some of the inaugural graduates of this programme include the Edson Chakanyuka, Mike Gava, Kudzi Chipanga, Innocent Hamandishe and others.

The NYS programme was to be strengthened five years later in 2007 when President Mugabe directed the introduction of NYS graduates into mainstream national politics. The directive by President Mugabe for the renewal of the ZANU PF Youth League National Executive was made through the then ZANU PF Secretary for Administration, Honourable Dydmus Mutasa, who gave that task to Comrade Absolom Sikhosana’s executive, which included Saviour Kasukuwere, Tapiwa Zengeni, the late Jabulani Mangena, the late Chiratidzo Gava and myself as the National Director for Youth.

This saw our executive giving way to the Edson Chakanyuka executive which included Kudzi Chipanga, Mike Gava, Innocent Hamandishe, Annastacia Ndlovu, Tabeth Kanengoni and Yeukayi Simbanegavi in 2009; seven years after the start of the NYS. By that time, the 80,000 NYS graduates had become key and critical components in all ZANU PF structures at cell/village, branch, district, District Coordinating Committees, province and national levels throughout the country.

In order to give the proper ideological grounding and context to the generational renewal processes, Professor Jonathan Moyo published an article on the generational dynamics and economic empowerment thrust under the Generation 40 concept. This conceptualisation formed the basis of the ZANU PF 2013 Election Manifesto which was specifically targeting the youth. This complimented the NYS programme initiated in 2002. This manifesto was communicated by ZANU PF officials including the over 80,000 NYS graduates that had become entrenched into all ZANU PF structures through-out Zimbabwe.

Over and above delivering a two thirds parliamentary majority, the 2013 election brought some of the ZANU PF Youth League’s National Executive Committee’s members into Parliament. These included Kudzi Chipanga, Mike Gava, Tabeth Kanengoni, Annastacia Ndlovu, Melody Tionei Dziva and Yeukau Simbanegavi. Apart from the fact that the youngest members of Parliament are from ZANU PF, most local authority councillors are young people from ZANU PF.

Following on those gains for the youth, the Million Man March was conducted on 26th May 2016 to further solidify generational renewal processes in preparation for the 2018 elections. This was a monumental success despite efforts at destabilisation by the Mutsvangwa cabal. The Presidential Youth Interfaces of 2017 built on the Million Man March by firmly asserting the role of the youth in taking the mantle for the complete liberation of Zimbabwe through economic empowerment.

The 80,000 NYS graduates of the early 2000s were on a roll that would see them in their forties as we approached the 2023 election. Generation 40 was on a roll. This frightened the Mutsvangwa cabal and their entitlement allies in the military.

That fear resulted in military tanks and automatic weapons being rolled out on 15th November 2017 in a military coup to stop that generational renewal. The generational renewal was firmly rooted in the ideological underpinning of indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment creation as articulated in the ZANU PF 2013 Manifesto. The coup targeted individuals perceived to be spearheading and supporting this generational renewal including President Mugabe. The military junta has not taken into account the 80,000 NYS graduates who are firm believers of generational renewal and economic empowerment. The military junta has mistakenly sought to expunge the ministry responsible for the youth and economic empowerment.

The military junta has sought to reverse the land reform programme. The military junta is negating the ideological premise that formed the core of the NYS orientation programme.

All of this is being observed by 80,000 NYS graduates who have been thoroughly oriented and trained in the ideologies of self-determination. On top of which, these 80,000 NYS graduates have now politically matured and come of age to the point of knowing how to successfully achieve their political objectives. These are the core of the G40s. They are unconquerable. They will continue to triumph on the back of the last message they received from President Mugabe: “Iwe Neni Tine Basa. Asante Sana.” Handei tione (Watch this space)

Iwe neni tine basa. Umsebenzi loUmkhulu. Asante Sana.