Thursday, May 26, 2016

Zanu-PF’s Tour de Force
May 26, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of zanu-pf supporters who gathered for the Million-Man March in Harare yesterday in a show of force to celebrate President Mugabe's legacy and affirm their support for his candidature for the 2018 harmonised elections

Herald Reporters

THE Robert Gabriel Mugabe Square lived up to its billing yesterday when hundreds of thousands of Zanu-PF supporters gathered there in a show of force to celebrate President Mugabe’s legacy and affirm their support for his candidature for the 2018 harmonised elections.

The gathering, which coincided with Africa Day, was also in honour of President Mugabe’s tenure as African Union chairman that saw the continental body launch a 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063 which, just like the country’s own economic blueprint Zim-Asset, advocates judicious exploitation of the continent’s God-given resources through value-addition and beneficiation.

Under President Mugabe’s tenure, the African Union, moved its trajectory firmly on the path of economic independence and speaker after speaker yesterday expressed pride at the way President Mugabe had steered the continental ship.

The square was a hive of activity as early as 7am as people streamed in from several designated Million-Man March venues with buses arriving from various provinces to celebrate the legacy of a man who has become synonymous with plaudits wherever he goes in the developing world.

President Mugabe is the only incumbent leader in Africa today cut from the same cloth that gave Africa the iconic leaders who formed the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 25, 1963. Scores of buses, haulage trucks and other vehicles carrying delegates from Midlands and Matabeleland provinces arrived at the National Sports Stadium as early as 7am and were addressed by their respective youth chairpersons.

Upon arrival, the youths burst into songs and toyi-toyed around the stadium chanting slogans and praising President Mugabe.

The youths started marching to Robert Mugabe Square at around 10:30am after being given food and event regalia.

Harare province was gathered at Raylton Sports Club and buses started arriving at the assembly point at around 8am.

Hundreds of thousands of people were gathered at the venue by 10am.

Zanu-PF members broke into singing and dancing while others were doing press ups celebrating the visionary leadership of President Mugabe.

The march started around 10:15am as the crowd marched along Jason Moyo Avenue to the main venue at the Robert Mugabe Square.

Representatives of Masvingo province and part of Mashonaland East province met at Rufaro Stadium at around 8am in their numbers with the figures swelling as time progressed.

The march from Rufaro Stadium commenced at about 10:30am as the people headed towards the venue.

Manicaland and the bulk of party members from Mashonaland East had filled the East 24 perimeter to capacity by 9:30am and they had parking challenges as most vehicles were almost blocking Samora Machel Avenue.

Placards with inscriptions that showered accolades on President Mugabe were on display.

The Zanu-PF Youth League expressed satisfaction with the huge turnout.

The Youth League secretary for finance Cde Tongai Kasukuwere said the crowd exceeded their expectations.

“With the little resources, we managed to pull out a lot of people. We used about $100 000 for the success of this event and this includes, tents hire, chairs, toilets etc. Movement of the people from the provinces was self funding. Some came in lorries and even tractors. Everyone can see that President Mugabe is the darling of the nation. We now need to work on the economy and not focus on trivial issues.

“The idea of the One Man Million March was to celebrate the legacy of President Mugabe. We thought, him being an African icon and former chairperson of the African Union and Sadc, Africa Day was the best day to celebrate his legacy from where he has taken us before independence, through independence, land reform, indigenisation and just the emancipation of the African people.

“This is what we are celebrating,” he said.

Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator Cde Esau Mupfumi who was part of the organising team in Manicaland said he was overwhelmed by the massive turnout.

“It is evident that Zimbabwe has heeded our call. All provinces are here. It is now One Million Man plus march. People have shown their willingness to rally behind their leader President Mugabe. He is the only centre of power.”

“This event is special not only to Zimbabwe but to Africa as a whole. President Mugabe has ruled. He has shown light in Africa. People have come in numbers. We can only urge them to continue rallying behind our visionary leader,” he said.

A London based supporter of President Mugabe who travelled for the event, Ms Cheryl Svosve said she was elated to finally meet her icon.

“I travelled all the way from London because this is a really iconic moment in history. It is not every day that you get to meet the President and hear what he has to say. I really wanted to take this opportunity to come here and experience the One Man Million March with my people,” she said.

Sport and Recreation Minister and Mberengwa East legislator Cde Makhosini Hlongwane said the event was historical.

“This is an epochal event in terms of the history of the party and the history of the youths in the country. The youths have finally been able to turn the important exuberant and ebullient energy they have into support not just for our iconic leader, President Mugabe but the iconic figure for the entire continent. So this is not a small thing”

“It is an important celebration that speaks to the importance of this great founding father of Zimbabwe, this great founding father of Africa and celebrating the works that he has done over many years of his life,” he said.

Queen of Grace Zim-Asset Trust secretary general Cde Ephraim Chizola said the vendors and other small entrepreneurs he represented were happy and content with the leadership of President Mugabe.

Cde Chizola said vendors had come in huge numbers from all the 10 provinces to show their support for the President.

“As vendors and small entrepreneurs, we pledge our support to President Mugabe and we will never leave him or the ruling party. He has empowered us economically and today we are all businesspeople, running our own entities,” he said.

I am here to stay, says President

May 26, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter

President Mugabe says he will continue leading zanu-pf and the country at the pleasure of the electorate and will not be pushed out through calls by opposition political parties and their Western backers.

The zanu-pf First Secretary and President said he drew his mandate from the party and to that end, he would only step down if the revolutionary party says so.

President Mugabe said this when he addressed a capacity crowd at Robert Mugabe Square at the Million-Man March in Harare yesterday.

He hailed the Youth League which organised the march in solidarity with him as the party’ sole candidate for the 2018 harmonised elections.

President Mugabe chided MDC-T for calling for him to step down through a lead story in Daily News yesterday.

Said the President: “Ko ndogoenda kupi? I belong to my people. My people say ‘stay here’. I am not a Briton, I don’t like it. I am not American, I am not Yankee. I told (former British Prime Minister Tony) Blair to keep his England so that I can keep my Zimbabwe. Ko, zvino?”

President Mugabe said he belonged to Zimbabwe and was put in his position by zanu-pf.

He said only zanu-pf and Zimbabweans in general could ask him to step down.

“I belong to Zimbabwe. So, they say I must go. The outsiders, why do they want Zimbabwe to stand down, to resign, to retire?

“Vanhu vanguka ndovangati aah, chiregai. Ko MDC itsitsi here dzekunzwira VaMugabe kuti vaneta? Kana kutya VaMugabe? Kutya VaMugabe, so tell the papers that VaMugabe says, go hang, hang yourself.

“Anyway tiri tese. I am at the service of the people. If the people say I should go, I go. But as long as I feel I can serve the people and I can do my best as I have done in the past, I will do my best and when time comes I go. Hapana kwandinoenda,” said President Mugabe.

He said the opposition did not have ideological orientation that would improve the lives of Zimbabwe since it was only obsessed with removing zanu-pf from power.

President Mugabe hailed the zanu-pf Youth League led by deputy Youth Affairs secretary, Cde Kudzanai Chipanga for organising the march saying they showed determination even as they faced resistance from some quarters in the party.

He also thanked all the party’s provincial structures for supporting the initiative saying without their support, the march would not have been successful.

“I, as President of Zanu-PF, wish to express my deep thanks and appreciation and the thanks of my family, my wife Grace who is here, the whole family to our youths, the Youth League of Zanu-PF for this great revolutionary act run by them, organized by them sure as they say with support from the women and also here and there support from the main body of the party.

“As they championed it right through, they travelled to reach each and every province organising the people for this march. They were determined that this will succeed. Along the way, sure they met some discouraging words even from within and amongst us. But they persisted and said forward ever, backwards never.

“Forward ever and even some circles who had said ‘oh no you cannot organize this, oh no what are you doing it for?’ eventually realised that the youths were determined and they decided to support them,” said President Mugabe.

He said with that support, the march was a success.

“It’s glory that you are giving the President but the President says in a reciprocal way, that it’s our glory together. It’s a glory of the party. A glorious day for the party. A glorious day for us all. Let us again and again thank the youths for it. But it’s a day also you have organized for us, a day which the Lord has made this a glorious day. We thank the Lord,” said the President.

President Mugabe hailed the youths for organising the march in a peaceful manner.

He said this had inspired other youths to join the revolutionary party.

Factionalism treasonous: President

May 26, 2016
Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter

Zanu-PF First Secretary and President Cde Mugabe has castigated factionalism, saying such groupings were treasonous as they sought to destroy the revolutionary party.

The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces also called on war veterans to work within the party and not isolate themselves.

He made the remarks while addressing hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans from all over the country who thronged the Robert Mugabe Square in Harare in honour of his visionary leadership.

The Zanu-PF Youth League organised the Million Men March that coincided with Africa Day celebrations.

President Mugabe, whose whole speech was punctuated with calls for unity in Zanu-PF, said lobbying for positions was alien to the revolutionary party since the first liberation movement, the National Democratic Party, was formed.

He said in his entire life since joining active politics, he never lobbied for a position but he was always elected by those he worked with.

President Mugabe narrated the journey the revolutionary parties Zanu and Zapu walked since the liberation struggle until signing the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987.

He also spoke about how other leaders during the liberation struggle, among them the late Vice President Simon Muzenda and the late national hero and Air Chief Marshal Josiah Tungamirai implored him to take up leadership of the party to give it direction after their leader Rev Ndabaningi Sithole left.

“Tichizojoinwa nevamwe vanana (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa ava vabva kuchikoro kuuniversity takazovadana vanana (Defence Minister Sydney) Sekeramayi vese kuti huyai tisangane,” said President Mugabe.

“Havana kuuya vachiti aah, tinoda zvigaro zvakati nezvakati. Takangovapawo zvigaro zvatakavapa ikoko. Ndirikuda kuti zvibude pachena kuti haisi tsika yedu mumusangano yekuti vanhu vakambire kuti tinoda kuva zvakati kana kuenda kun’anga vachiti tinoda. Hatina izvozvo.

“Hatina kumboita musangano wataisarudzirwa nen’anga kuti uyu achazova mutungamiri. Ayewa ngazvive chido chevanhu. Vanhu maonero avo vachiona kuti iwe wakakwana panzvimbo apa, iwe wakakwana panzvimbo apa. Mumusangano toita congress dzedu ndopanosarudzwa vanhu.”

President Mugabe said factionalism was alien adding that it would destroy Zanu-PF if allowed to continue.

He said party officials must stop plotting the downfall of each other in order to position themselves.

President Mugabe said it was up to the people to elect the leadership that they want, adding that it was unnecessary for party officials to then challenge that appointment.

“Party yevanhu inozvara hurumende yevanhu. Taiswa munzvimbo dzataiswa idzodzo dzehurumende, iwe wapiwa basa iri. Takupa kuti uve minister wechakati, iwe minister wechakati. Ko, rega kuva nekunyunyuta kuti ‘aaah in ndapiwa ministry isina kukwana. Aah ndanga ndichida kuti kuti ndive kuministry yakati.’ Kwete, yawapihwa iyoyo ndiyoyo. Shanda pairi unozoonekwa kuti ungaenda here pane imwe ministry.

“Asi tinenge tichinzwa runyerekupe rwekuti vanhu vanga vachitsutsumwa kuti ‘aah ko izvi zvazoitirwei? haa ini ndakandwa uku, ndanga ndichida kupihwa ministry yeFinance kana kuti ndanga ndichida kupiwa ministry ye Foreign Affairs’. Aiwa, hatidaro!

“Tinoona kuti zvaunenge wakakodzera ndezvipi. Dzimwe nguva unenge usina kumbokodzera futi. Zvino vamwe vanenge vachiuya vachiti ‘zvandava MP, aah ndakuqualifier kuvaminister’. You haven’t qualified at all. Not at all! Do your work urimuParliament, uonekwe zvakanaka wozosarudzwawo,” said President Mugabe.

He said it was gratifying that the Youth League received support from the Women’s League headed by First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe, the main wing and the war veterans.

President Mugabe, however, called war veterans to order saying they must work within the party and not isolate themselves.

“Let this day, be the day you have made, in the sense that you have determined to listen to yourselves first and listen to the voice of the party and never to listen to the discordant voices from whatever sources they may come from within the party.

“The party has no factions as the party. Those who say they belong to this or belong to that are deceiving themselves. There is only Zanu-PF and let us not hear discordant voices from whosoever.

“Our war veterans, I say they must work within the party. They cannot be preaching their own political voices outside the party. No! They must come within the party then whatever grievances we have, will be solved within the party. Whatever they have, will be listened to within the party,” said President Mugabe.

He said it was important for Zanu-PF officials and supporters to unite.

President Mugabe also castigated party officials who were badmouthing each other through “feeding lies” to the media that has been quoting party officials tarnishing other leaders’ images.

“There should never be little groups to promote so and so. Those little groups are treasonous groups. They are treasonous groups, they spoil the party.

“There is one group- Zanu-PF. Why can’t you come with your views to the party, we discuss them? Your differences to the party, your criticism even within the party.

“You can criticise the leaders within the party and not go to newspapers, The Daily Nonsense or whatever. And you are making these little papers live. You are helping them to live.

“You are giving them lies. The stories that are being told, you get stories against the First Lady, the stories against so and so in the leadership and so forth. Nonsense! Stop all that.

“The party was never founded on other principles other than principles of unity, principles of togetherness and principles of harmony not disharmony. There are those who are specialising in writing to the press giving false information about others. We don’t want that. It should stop,” said President Mugabe.

He hailed Bishop Trevor Manhanga who gave a sermon calling for unity in Zanu-PF saying that was the only way the party would win at the 2018 harmonised elections.

He said if the country was united, God would shower blessings on Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe said when he visited the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo when he was on his deathbed, Father Zimbabwe implored him to ensure the country remained united and that there should be no tribalism.

To that end, he said Zanu-PF would not tolerate tribalists bent on demeaning other tribes.

President Mugabe said Dr Nkomo also said it was important for Zimbabweans to get their land.

The country embarked on the fast track land redistribution exercise at the turn of the millennium from the white minority farmers to the landless majority which saw hundreds of thousands of indigenous Zimbabweans benefiting from the exercise

President Mugabe said Government would however, put mechanisms in place to ensure that the youths who did not benefit because they were young when the exercise started, also get land.

He said youths must also get residential stands in urban areas regardless of their political affiliation.

President Mugabe added that all Zimbabweans regardless of their political affiliation must also be given food aid that Government secures to alleviate hunger instigated by climate change that saw the country yield poor harvest.

He said while MDC-T called for sanctions on the country, it was the Government’s responsibility to fend for its people including those opposed to it regardless of their mischief.

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