100 000-strong crowd throngs Mugabe Mkoba rally

Part of the bumper crowd that thronged Mkoba for the 7th leg of the zanu-pf Presidential Youth Interface rallies in Gweru yesterday.

AN estimated 100 000 people yesterday thronged Mkoba for the seventh leg of Presidential Youth Interface rallies as Zanu-PF once again showcased its mobilisation muscle ahead of next year’s harmonised elections. The hugely-subscribed rally was held at the open space behind Mkoba Teachers’ College.

The Midlands capital was a hive of activity from Thursday night as people from all parts of the province converged for the rally. Hotels and lodges enjoyed brisk business.

By 8am, people were already seated at the venue and by 11am the area was a sea of heads. Entertainment was provided by a number of groups, among them students from Midlands State University, the ZRP Band and Mbare Chimurenga Choir, while a comedian called Mbuya Porina left the crowd in stitches.

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe then arrived to a rapturous welcome in the afternoon and were greeted by song and dance from the huge crowd.

The President and the First Lady went around greeting the cheering crowd before taking their seats at the top table. In his address to the gathering, President Mugabe congratulated the Youth League for successfully organising the seventh edition of the Interface Rallies.

“Maratidza kuti hapana mumwe musangano zvakare watinoda. Hapana zvakare humwe hutungamiriri hwatinoda, hapana mumwe leader watingade, musangano wedu muZanu-PF, maitiro edu muZanu-PF takamira takabatana zvachose kuti twi.

“Isu veMidlands, taigara tichiti Midlands, nekukura kwayakaita ndiyo musimboti wedu kubvira kareko tinanaMuzenda nevamwe. Nhasi maratidza zvimwechete izvozvo, nhasi maratidza zvimwechete izvozvo vadiki vedu.

“Aah ndomafundowo kune vamwe vose vemamwe maprovince vakaita zvatakafundawo kuno kuMidlands. Ndomafundowo kana kuvakuru kuti honai patasvika. Aya manomwe maprovince tichingoita zvimwezvo — shudhu, shudhu, shudhu,” President Mugabe said to applause from the capacity crowd.

He added that even during their time they did not organise rallies that attracted multitudes of people as being witnessed during the Interface rallies. “Saka rambai makadaro, rambai makadaro muine gwara and follow the ideological direction thats very important and follow that direction all of you there is need for unity think alike and stay alike be in step with each other in step with the march,” President Mugabe said. He said he had worked together with his two deputies and castigated factionalism that had seen party cadres accusing others of engaging in witchcraft.

President Mugabe said Zanu-PF was a principled party that has rules and regulations to be adhered to. “Isu bato redu reZanu-PF redu rine gwara, rine hunhu huripo rukudzo rwuripo asi kana wavakuita Zvaana Tsvangirai buda muno hatikude hausisiri wedu. Vakabuda vakanga vasisina gwara vakungoita sezvitaunhau. Munozviziva zvitaunhau? Zvinongotauka,”President Mugabe said.

The President said this in reference to the Joice Mujuru led cabal that was expelled from Zanu-PF and formed the Zimbabwe People First party that has gone on to split several times. President Mugabe said Zanu-PF was a people’s party adding that leaders should not impose their will on the masses.

The Zanu-PF First Secretary urged youth leaders to have unity of purpose. “Nemiwo maleaders emayouth ensure that there is sufficient discussion and understanding of ma issues enyu kwete kuti pozobuda mumwe achiti aah ini izvi handibvumirane nazvo izvi kana kuti umwe ozobuda ipapa achitsautsira then iyeye ndiye arikukanganisa, is out of step anofanira kurangwa.

“But I am glad that you have put together your grievances and your requests tichange tichiaongorora ma requests iwaya anoti magrants kumauniversity, zvese land tichienderera mberi kudaro we will look at them properly ne Politburo,” President Mugabe said.

President Mugabe however, urged the Youth League to come up with a proper register of young people who had benefitted from the land reform to prevent double or multiple allocations.

The President said while the youths were tomorrow’s leaders it was imperative that they have adequate knowledge of the history of the party. “Tinodawo ka imi as leaders of tomorrow muve ne ideology yakakwana, you should know the party well. You should know the history of the party well, know the history of the struggle that was waged. Yava history zvayo but you should know why there was that fighting why our people suffered including in keeps in detention and even in restriction.”