Fungi Kwaramba 2 June 2017
HARARE – Zanu PF has scrambled to spruce up the poor town of Marondera in
preparation of President Robert Mugabe’s visit to the Mashonaland East
provincial capital where he holds a mega rally at Rudhaka Stadium today.
For the duration of the week, the usually quiet town has been a hive of
activity as bulldozers and engineers from Zesa went to work to make sure
that Mugabe’s visit would mask the problems scarring the little town.
Mugabe’s rally in Marondera will kick-start a series of rallies across
provinces as the nonagenarian begins his 2018 election push.
When the Daily News crew arrived in Marondera, it was greeted by sights of
newly-paved surfaces leading to Rudhaka Stadium – with road engineers and
pavers putting final road markings to freshly-tarred roads.
Staggeringly, a few metres away from the vicinity of today’s venue, raw
sewage and large craters of potholes greeted our news crew.
There were no signs that these roads would be given the same treatment.
The venue, however, was receiving attention synonymous with the VVIPs that
always follow Mugabe wherever he holds his rallies.
Hundreds of workers were out in full force putting final touches including
setting up marquee tents which were set up with air conditioners and
Attempts to adorn the city, on the back of Mugabe’s visit in the town,
drew mixed reactions as residents close to the stadium felt that the
nonagenarian was at least leaving something “tangible” after his rally.
But for the suffering masses such as the food and second hand clothes
vendors, the visit of Africa’s oldest leader, was a reminder of chaos and
tension which usually accompany his rallies.
“It will be suicidal not to attend the rally because the president is
coming. We have been told to attend but I would rather stay at home as I
have nothing to gain from the rally,” a grim-faced vendor who spoke on
condition of anonymity said.
Marondera was teeming with security details who manned all roads leading
into town ahead of the Zanu PF leader’s visit.
Hordes of heavily-armed police patrolled the streets and scores of men in
“dark glasses” were engrossed with what was happening at Rudhaka Stadium.
Zanu PF youth chairperson Kudzanai Chipanga, whose wing has organised
today’s rally said they were expecting thousands of party supporters to
swamp Rudhaka Stadium.
“We have finalised the preparations. We have been advised by the
provincial youths’ leadership that tens of thousands of youths will come
to the rally. The youths are excited to see their president. The women’s
league executive led by First Lady Grace Mugabe will also attend the rally
in support of their children. The rally will show that the president is
still the real deal,” Chipanga told the Daily News.
Chipanga said Mugabe would use the Marondera rally to launch a voter
mobilisation for the youths, whose participation in elections has been
very low in previous elections.
Insiders, have however, said the nonagenarian would also use the rally as
an opportunity to call the brawling factions to order in a bid to stem the
growing fissures within Zanu PF, as the bigwigs fighting to succeed him
escalate their mindless bloodletting.