No millions at million-man march

BAR the crowing, there were no millions or anything close to resembling a tenth of that, as the Zanu PF march in support of President Robert Mugabe came and went yesterday.

Source: No millions at million-man march – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 26, 2016

BY OBEY MANAYITI/RICHARD CHIDZA

While thousands walked from different parts of Harare having been dropped off by buses, open trucks and trains, Mugabe weaved his way into the crowd, atop an open truck, as the much-vaunted million-man march turned into a much smaller gathering.

Mugabe, however, was chuffed by the number and the Zanu PF leader led the way by claiming the gathering rivalled his famed 1980 crowd at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, upon his triumphant return from Mozambique.

“I feel little, I feel humbled by this gesture. It is a celebration of the glory that you have accorded us and it has never been done in history. The history of Zanu PF must record this. That the youth league did what we last saw in 1980, when we returned from the war,” he said.

Zanu PF supporters from across the country, gathered at different points, including Rufaro Stadium, Raylton Sports Club, East 24, the National Sports Stadium and adjacent to the South African Embassy before snaking their way to the venue.

Traffic came to a standstill, as the supporters toyi-toyied along the streets of the capital, the situation made easier by that yesterday was a public holiday.

Some did not know why they were in the capital.

“We arrived in Harare at around 6am. We are so excited to have been part of this march, but we haven’t eaten since the time we left our homes,” a Zanu PF chairman from a district in Mt Darwin said.

“We were picked up at 3am from our homes and have just come here in support of the President. We have no idea why, but our leaders just told us he needs us and we have to listen to him speak.”

From Manicaland, another supporter said: “We have not eaten and do not know what to do. Nobody seems to have an idea of how we can get through the day.”

It was the same song across the provinces that attended. Mostly school buses from across the country were used to transport the marchers.

Some fainted, as the heat and hunger took their toll.

As always, hopes for jobs and empowerment lingered in the minds of many.

“I also expect our leaders to touch on problems affecting the country, the promises that were made on job creation and empowerment projects,” another supporter said.

NewsDay witnessed some errant youths being taken into custody by the police for various offences, including possession of dagga.

Youth leader, Kudzai Chipanga and Rural Development minister Abednico Ncube both complained about transport logistics to ferry people from different parts of the country.

“Some people are still on their way as we speak,” Chipanga told Mugabe, way into the event.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Animal Farm 6 years ago

    There were more songs, more speeches, more processions. Napoleon had commanded that once a week there should be held something called a Spontaneous Demonstration, the object of which was to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of Animal Farm. At the appointed time the animals would leave their work and march round the precincts of the farm in military formation, with the pigs leading, then the horses, then the cows, then the sheep, and then the poultry. The dogs flanked the procession and at the head of all marched Napoleon’s black cockerel. Boxer and Clover always carried between them a green banner marked with the hoof and the horn and the caption, “Long live Comrade Napoleon! ” Afterwards there were recitations of poems composed in Napoleon’s honour, and a speech by Squealer giving particulars of the latest increases in the production of foodstuffs, and on occasion a shot was fired from the gun. The sheep were the greatest devotees of the Spontaneous Demonstration, and if anyone complained (as a few animals sometimes did, when no pigs or dogs were near) that they wasted time and meant a lot of standing about in the cold, the sheep were sure to silence him with a tremendous bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” But by and large the animals enjoyed these celebrations. They found it comforting to be reminded that, after all, they were truly their own masters and that the work they did was for their own benefit. So that, what with the songs, the processions, Squealer’s lists of figures, the thunder of the gun, the crowing of the cockerel, and the fluttering of the flag, they were able to forget that their bellies were empty, at least part of the time.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 6 years ago

    I still remain with my estimate at less than 50 000 and even that is a stretch,

  • comment-avatar
    Collingbourne Mackenzie 6 years ago

    Underestimating the march is at once own perogative.
    This was a huge success a job well done this was not only to show support for our president, but a significant impact of the most important part that we love him.
    Shame on those who see it otherwise.

    It’s only private media who will always try to send the wrong message to the world yet for some of us on the ground we know the truth and that is a true reflection that our lead has the surrounding support of his people no matter what.
    Via President Mugs be and job well done to the youth.