The US Embassy in Zimbabwe is working flat out to infiltrate the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) in a bid to lure the student movement to support opposition politics in Zimbabwe.
A source who spoke to this publication said officials from the US Embassy held a clandestine meeting with members of ZICOSU Masvingo Chapter and made proposals aimed at swaying the student movement from supporting ZANU PF’s youth mobilization and membership recruitment programme ahead of 2023 plebiscites.
“Last week, Charles Mangongera and Erick Frankwell from US Embassy held a meeting with leaders of ZICOSU Masvingo Chapter at in Masvingo. The meeting focused on convincing the student movement to switch their loyalty from ZANU PF and engage in opposition politics. During the meeting, the two officials wanted to know who was funding their activities. They said in no uncertain terms that ZICOSU should disband and join hands with pro opposition movement, the Zimbabwe National Student Union (ZINASU),” said the source.
According to the source, the US Embassy officials told the ZICOSU leaders that they are set to benefit from scholarships, funding and political grooming if they dump the ruling party and associate themselves with the opposition.
However, the students vehemently rejected sentiments by US Embassy officials that they are aligned to the ruling party. They stated that ZICOSU was an apolitical organization with the sole agenda of advancing the interests of students.
According to the source, the student said that ZICOSU was free to align itself with like-minded organisations and is opposed to ZINASU’s confrontational and radical approach. The ZICOSU leaders also rejected proposals from US Embassy officials to align with the opposition and stated that they cannot support opposition politics as it was detrimental to the development of the country.
“The students told the guys from the US Embassy that they could not work with ZINASU as they were founded on two different ideological backgrounds. The students accused the US Embassy of favouring ZINASU by availing scholarships and funding to them while ignoring ZICOSU. The ZICOSU leaders frankly told the duo that they could not engage in opposition politics as they are in sync with ideological standing of ZANU PF, hence they are obliged to support it,” said the source.
The US Embassy has been supporting opposition parties and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) opposed to the government as it seeks to effect regime change in the country.