HARARE – Zanu PF has ordered that key posts within the party’s structures be reserved for liberation war veterans, in a move driven by the party’s military element.

Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat Engelbert Rugeje, who retired from the army after a military coup that ousted former President Robert Mugabe in 2017 to take up the new position, wrote to the party’s provincial leadership directing that war veterans be “incorporated” in their structures.

“You will recall that the December 2017 Zanu PF extra-ordinary congress endorsed a resolution on the elevation of war veterans of the liberation struggle both in the party and government,” Rugeje says in a memo dated April 10.

He continued: “Pursuant to this resolution, you are by way of this circular directed to ensure that war veterans are incorporated into the main wing party structures from cell to provincial level in view of the restructuring exercise.”

Rugeje said where the chairman of a party structure is not a war veteran, their deputy should be a war veteran or vice versa.

He added: “The posts of political commissar or deputy political commissar from cell level to provincial level should preferably be filled by war veterans.

“The posts of secretary for security and deputy secretary for security from cell level to provincial level should be preferably filled by war veterans.”

The directives could alienate the party’s ageing leadership from the youths as it has the effect of suppressing ambitious “young turks” who do not share the same affinity for the 1980s bush war for independence from white colonial rule.