President Emmerson Mnangagwa snubs vendors

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday turned his back from scores of informal traders who had congregated at the City Sports Centre in Harare for his address.

The rally, which had been advertised in the state-run Herald newspaper and ZBC TV, was due to start at 10AM at the City Sports Centre but only a couple of hundred people had turned up – even with a free concert by the singer, Seh Calaz.

The Zimbabwean leader, whose popularity faces a tough test from MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa in elections on Monday, was set to address vendors, touts, among some informal traders to discuss issues affecting the self employed workers.

Ahead of Monday’s general elections, optics matter and aides of the Zanu PF leader would not let him address an empty hall. They then drafted in Water Minister Oppah Muchinguri, who claimed Mnangagwa had an engagement elsewhere.

Minister Kashiri, on her part acknowledged the problems faced by informal traders and pledged on behalf of the Mnangagwa government they were going to be resolved.

With that, he was gone – heading to the Robert Mugabe International Airport to catch a charter flight to South Africa where he will join 21 other African leaders invited by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the BRICS summit being held in Pretoria. He returns on Friday.

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