Freedom Mupanedemo and Michael Magoronga in Kwekwe
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was yesterday forced to abort his shopping at OK supermarket in Kwekwe after an enthusiastic crowd instantaneously swarmed the shop jostling for ‘handshakes, selfies and a glimpse’ of him.
The President casually walked into the supermarket at about 1 pm, attracting followers who had abandoned their businesses in the environs of the shop.
The crowd followed him, as he walked around the shop, cheering and whistling — in an apparent excitement after an unusual up-close with the Head of State.
OK Kwekwe branch management had to temporarily close the shop in a bid to restore order after The President had left.
Kwekwe is President Mnangagwa’s home town and according to OK Kwekwe supermarket management, he has been a regular client for the last 20 years.
Yesterday the President, who usually spends weekends at his Kwekwe farm, had gotten into the shop intending to purchase some grocery items and also have first hand general experience.
When The Sunday Mail arrived at the supermarket, the President was already walking out without shopping with people still mobbing him.
His security personnel had a torrid time controlling the crowd that wanted time with their leader.
In his usual jovial mood, the President went about greeting and shaking hands with the insistent crowd as he was accompanied out of the shop by security to his vehicle.
Before stepping into the vehicle, the President waved to the crowd, a gesture that prompted a rapturous response in jovial cheers with some shouting “zvaitwa Murambwi! Shumba!”.
The President’s totem is Shumba Murambwi.
Management at the shop had to instruct its security to close the shop doors to contain the crowds soon after the President had left.
One of the supermarket’s line managers interviewed said the President has always been a regular client of the supermarket.
“The President (Mnangagwa) is our regular client for the last 20 years. He has a farm in Sherwood and he would come and do his groceries for the house and farm here even before he became the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
“When he became President, he also came and I think today is the third time he has been here,” said the manager who declined to be named citing company policy on speaking to the media.
President Mnangagwa surprised many people last year when he made a stopover at a food outlet in Chegutu to buy some food.