President Mnangagwa takes first ‘thank you’ rally to Mugabe’s home area – report

Zimbabwe's president, Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly planning to take his first “thank you” rally to former president Robert Mugabe’s home area in Mashonaland West, three days after the first anniversary of the nonagenarian’s resignation.

Mugabe stepped down as the southern African nation’s leader on November 21 last year, following a brief military intervention.

Mashonaland West provincial chairperson and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting last week that the rally would be a celebration of the demise of Generation 40 (G40) cabal, which was a faction within the ruling Zanu-PF party.

The G40 was believed to have been Mugabe’s brainchild, and up until November last year, it engaged in a fierce power struggle with Mnangagwa’s backers who were known as Team Lacoste.

Ziyambi was quoted as saying the president had instructed all Zanu-PF lawmakers to thank the people who voted for him on the July 30 polls.

He said it was also a cause for celebration that the president had garnered more votes than his predecessor had done in the past.

‘The choice is instructive’

Party insiders said that by bringing the first “thank you” rally to Mashonaland West, Mnangagwa was telling his predecessor that he was in charge.

“It is a clear message to the former president that he (Mugabe) has to accept the new reality. The choice of Mugabe’s home area to stage the first ‘thank you’ rally is not a mistake. You will remember that when he was appointed vice-president in 2014, his first stop was his home province of Midlands.  This choice is instructive,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying.

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Mnangagwa’s rival, Nelson Chamisa was reportedly also holding similar rallies across the country.

According to Zim Live.com, Chamisa has already met thousands of is supporters in at least three provinces, as part of his nationwide “thank you” rallies.

Analysts were shocked by the continued huge crowd turnout at Chamisa’s rallies, despite narrowly losing at the polls.

A prominent political commentator, Doctor Pedzisai Ruhanya said there was something peculiar about Chamisa’s ability to draw huge crowds.