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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Thursday warned ‘Young Turks’ from challenging the old guard in his ruling ZANU PF party saying such a move would be suicidal.

Mugabe made the remarks at the burial of Major General Eliah Bandama who died of cancer at the age of 56.

Bandama was buried at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.

“There are young people who need to be taught that there are leaders who fought for the independence of this country. These young ones were never detained in prisons,” Mugabe said.

“Those who fought in the struggle have scars, others are visible while others are not.”

Mugabe’s comments came amid fierce jostling for positions within his ruling Zanu PF party ahead of a key elective congress in December.

Zanu PF recently passed a clause in its constitution barring those who have not served consistently in the party at provincial level for a period of 15 years from contesting for positions in the central committee.

Observers said the move was meant to bar Young Turks who are angling for top positions within the party.

Party spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, has defended the new regulations saying they were meant to give direction to the party.

Political analysts however say the ‘old guard’ has come under fresh pressure from younger politicians who are now demanding seats at the high table.

The regulations, if adopted, would bar individuals such as Information Minister Jonathan Moyo who was expelled from Zanu PF in 2005 after he stood as an independent from securing seats in the central committee.

Source : New Zimbabwe