Zanu-PF flexes mobilisation muscle •President addresses bumper crowd •Rally sets tone for 2018 campaign

Source: Zanu-PF flexes mobilisation muscle •President addresses bumper crowd •Rally sets tone for 2018 campaign | The Herald June 3, 2017

Tendai Mugabe and Felex Share—
Zanu-PF proved its mobilisation capacity yesterday when President Mugabe addressed a record crowd assembled at provincial level in Mashonaland East, setting the tone for the revolutionary party’s campaign for next year’s harmonised elections. Mashonaland East Province was the President’s first stop on a nationwide tour dubbed “Presidential Youth Interface Rallies” organised by the Zanu-PF Youth League to give youths an opportunity to meet the President and mobilise them to register for 2018 elections.

The bumper crowd at Rudhaka Stadium, Marondera, testified to Zanu-PF’s mobilisation capacity and showed why opposition parties want a coalition to face Zanu-PF amid projections by think-tanks, scholars and analysts that 2018 will deliver a runaway victory for Zanu-PF.

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The Mashonaland East provincial capital turned into a sea of green and yellow as Zanu-PF supporters, mainly youths, trooped to Rudhaka Stadium.

People singing revolutionary songs started arriving in Marondera as early as 6am from various parts of the province and by mid-morning, security personnel were grappling with crowd control.

Contrary to reports in the private media that there would be chaos at the event, Zanu-PF youths displayed a high level of discipline that was also commended by the President.

President Mugabe received a rousing welcome from the youths who were waving placards praising his iconic and charismatic leadership when he arrived around 11am.

Accompanied by First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe and Zanu-PF secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga, President Mugabe moved around the stadium greeting the crowd.

Cde Chipanga said Mashonaland East was an important province in Zanu-PF’s scheme of things.

He said they had organised the youths interface meeting with the President following a realisation that not all youths managed to come and meet President Mugabe during the Million-Man March last year.

“Youths are the biggest population not only in Zimbabwe, but also in the world, but having many youths in the party who are not registered voters is meaningless,” said Cde Chipanga.

“All youths should be registered and that is the message we are taking wherever we are going as young people.”

Cde Chipanga said youths were facing numerous challenges and appealed to President Mugabe to ensure that they also got land to start income generating projects.

He said it was disturbing that Mashonaland East still accounted for the biggest number of white commercial farmers at a time when young people were struggling.

On the forthcoming harmonised elections, Cde Chipanga said: “We don’t want imposition of candidates. All seats should be contested. The only position that is not vacant is that of the President.”

His remarks followed reports that the revolutionary party lost to independent candidate Mr Temba Mliswa in Norton after national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere imposed little known candidate Cde Ronald Chindedza.

President Mugabe later dismissed Cde Chindedza as a thief.

Mashonaland East Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Kelvin Mutsvairo said they would deliver a huge victory in the province in the elections next year.

He said they were already in the process of allocating residential stands to youths in the province.