LIVE: President Mugabe meets Mash Central youths

THE Zanu PF juggernaut rolls into Bindura’s Chipadze Stadium for an interactive meeting between President Robert Mugabe and Mashonaland Central youths. President Mugabe is going to address the eighth Youth Interface rally this afternoon and thousands of party supporters from all over the province are expected to converge.

Zimpapers Online gives you live updates of this event. Stay with us and interact with us through a discussion forum below to share your ideas on the issues being raised in the key address.

UPDATES: Costa Mano, PHOTOGRAPHER: Wilson Kakurira, EDITING: Simiso Mlevu

10:29 Thousands of Zanu-PF supporters have today thronged Chipadze Stadium in Bindura for the 8th Presidential Youth Interface Rally. President Mugabe has used the rallies to impress on the youth that they should seek to be employers and not employees. The First secretary and President of Zanu-PF has also called for unity as the revolutionary party prepares for the 2018 elections.

11:16 For the love of the party, hundreds of party supporters actually held an all night vigil (Pungwe) at Chipadze Stadium. Pungwes, also known as conscientisation meetings were popular during the war of liberation and provided inspiration to the masses.

11:21 Ministers already here include Cdes Walter Chidhakwa, Prof Jonathan Moyo, Prisca Mupfumira, Patrick Zhuwao and Joram Gumbo.

11:44 Some senior party officilas who have arrived here include Zanu PF Secretary for Admninistration, Dr Ignatius Chombo, President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe, National Political Commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere and Tourism Minister Dr Walter Mzembi.

11:50 Musician-cum comedian, Kapfupi of the Mai Nga fame is now on stage.

12:42 As Kapfupi drops the microphone, Freeman picks it up and the crowd goes wild. As has been the norm at all rallies, young musicians have provided the bulk of the entertainment.

12:50 The two Vice Presidents, Hon Phelekezela Report Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa have arrived at the venue.

12:51 The atmosphere has become electric as the crowd anticipates the arrival of President Mugabe.

12:51 President Mugabe has arrived is accompanied by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe. The iconic leader is now going around greeting the party faithful.

Meanwhile, President Mugabe officially opened the Bindura Community Information Centre earlier today.

13:18 Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial leadership welcomes party supporters through slogans.

13:19 Youth League National Political Commissar, Cde Innocent Hamandishe who is also the Director of Ceremony has called for the National Anthem to be sung.

13:19 A minister of religion, Pastor Chinoda is now blessing the gathering with bible reading.

13:20 Prof Moyo, who is also the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development chants party slogans and is followed by the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Cde Zhuwao.

13:25 Secretary for Youth League Affairs in the politburo, Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga is now introducing the Politburo members.

13:32 Cde Chipanga has invited Cde Tshinga Dube and Dr Sydney Sekeremayi to chant party slogans as leaders of war veterans in Gvt and the party respectively. He says as youth leaders they are struggling to work with the Christopher Mutsvangwa led war vets association and has asked Dr Sekeremayi to explain the best possible way for the problem to be solved.

13:37 Dr Sekeremayi says Mash Central has a lot of war vets adding that everyone who trained as a soldier for the fight for freedom is called a war vet. He explains how the war vets association came to be after Independence.

‘Before Jabulani Sibanda, the association had been led diligently,” he says.

13:42 Dr Sekeramayi has implored people not to follow Mutsvangwa’s association adding that as the leader of war vets in the party, he does not recognise them.

13:45 Cde Dube steps to the microphone and says he is happy that Dr Sekeremayi has made it clear that it’s a party decision to call for Congress to choose new war vets leaders.

It would be unwise for him to put his head on the log for anyone whatsoever, he notes.

13:47 Cde Chipanga continues with introducing Politburo members after he cut the intros short so as to allow Cdes Sekeremayi and Dube to explain the status of war vets leadership. As he finishes introducing politburo members, he requests Dr Chombo to chant the slogans on their behalf.

13:49 The Youth League boss has asked VPs Mphoko and Mnangagwa to greet party supporters.

13:55 Provincial youth chair Isiah Mandaza says the province is united behind President Mugabe and cannot wait for the voting day.

“We are now heading towards the elections but the problem we have is the Registrar General’s office which makes it a hurdle to get an Identity Documents.

“We survive on farming and mining yet the artisanal miners are being arrested.” He has also made a passionate plea that when the farms are downsized can the youth and women be afforded a chance to ben beneficiaries.”

The youth are saying party regalia is in short supply

14:01 Cde Mandaza says Joyce Mujuru and Morgan Tsvangirai will not win a seat in Mash Central.

14:01 Cde Chipanga is back on the podium and urges the youths to register as voters. He says the state of Chipadze Stadium is appalling and does not deserve to be called a Stadium because it is just an open space.

14:05 He calls Mr Hove, Ashanti Gold Mine General Manager, who has assured the province that the stadium will be renovated.

14:05 Cde Chipanga has asked Dr Grace Mugabe to address the gathering

14:06 She denounces Mutsvangwa, Mahiya, Matematanda and praises the youth league for organising rallies.

Amai Mugabe says the work she does in Mash Central are a tribute to Mbuya Nehanda as she came from the province. “This is the province in which they exorcise demons.

14:10 According to the First Lady, since the appointment of the two VPs in 2014 there has been no harmony in the party.

“Many youths have used VP Mnangagwa’s name to scold President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe. The youths were saying President Mugabe is old and should leave office.”

14:12 She says VP Mnangagwa has been complicit as he would be seen with expelled youths drinking tea and alcohol. Some bring cups written ‘I’m the Boss’ and when we see it we get angry.

14:13 “When ED fell ill, the rumour mill pointed to President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe as the witches. I am being blamed as the instigator and that I wanted to kill ED by poisoning him so that when he is dead, VP Mphoko will then act as President but that is illogical.

14:15 “I once told Mujuru and she said I am mad but where is she? I don’t know of G40 but I know Lacoste exists.

14:16 “People cannot go around claiming that our Ice Cream poisoned ED which hurts the brand (Alpha and Omega).

14:17 People in Masvingo claim there are no problems but problems exist in Masvingo and Midlands.

14:18 She says Cde Paul Mangwana claimed she does not understand the Constitution but she says she understands it well.

14:18 She says she refused to take part in a demo that was being organised against ED

14:19 “When it suits you, you shout nepotism by when ED left his seat he left it for his wife.”

14:20 She calls Kazembe Kazembe and blasts him for calling for the ouster of Kasukuwere and declares that Kasukuwere is not going anywhere. His fault is that of refusing to support Lacoste.

14:21 Amai Mugabe says Mutsvangwa is not elected, adding, ‘down with him’.

14:23 The First Lady explains how President Mugabe fell ill with diarrhea after eating food in Manicaland but they never went around pointing fingers. ”We need unity as the President always says. When we say we speak the truth, let us be consistent.

14:25 Amai Mugabe says there are Ministers who are discriminating Mphoko as they only call VP Mnangagwa to their events.

14:25 She says she is happy being First Lady and nothing more adding that she is also grateful to have been given the chance to lead the Women’s League.

14:26 Says Dr Mugabe, “Masvingo and Midlands are the hotbeds of factionalism and those who want factionalism must pack their bags and go there.

14:27 “Things are not well in the party and they must be resolved.” She adds, ‘there was indiscipline in the Women’s League but we have handled these problems.’

14:29 The First Lady says she was burdened and had to speak her mind.

14:30 “Ministers who don’t tow the Lacoste line are now being accused of corruption like Jonathan Moyo and are now failing to work. We don’t want factionalism, down with those who want President Mugabe to lose sleep.

14:31 Amai Mugabe has finished her address and Cde Chipanga is back on the podium. He has now invited President Mugabe to address the gathering

14:42 President Mugabe narrates how the spirit of Mbuya Nehanda led the people to take up arms and fight for their liberation. He says tribalism is something they nipped in the bud soon after gaining independence throughout the country.

“However, we still have issues regarding tribalism. When we appoint a Minister he wants to fill up job vacancies with his relatives and the people from where he comes from.”