Zanu PF politburo member and MP for Umguza, Obert Mpofu, on Wednesday reportedly bussed hundreds of Zanu PF supporters from Nyamandlovu to welcome President Robert Mugabe in Lupane.
The 87-year-old party leader officiated at the Lupane State University (LSU) graduation ceremony held at the institution’s site about 171km from Bulawayo.
Last year, Mpofu, who has declared himself President Mugabe’s “obedient son”, donated two large tents, 2 000 chairs, four beasts and other food items at the institution’s inaugural graduation ceremony.
The first-ever graduation also coincided with the installation of President Mugabe as the university’s chancellor and the laying of the foundation stone.
On Wednesday, scores of party supporters could be seen standing at various pick-up points along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway waiting for buses to take them to the graduation venue.
Later in the day, the supporters, most of them wearing Zanu PF regalia, arrived in four buses at Somhlolo Stadium where President Mugabe’s helicopter was to land.
By lunch hour, Zanu PF’s district co-ordinating chairman for Umguza, Richard Moyo, was observed distributing an assortment of canned soft drinks to the party supporters.
Efforts to get a comment from Mpofu were fruitless.
But Moyo yesterday confirmed they brought four buses from the constituency. He also confirmed Mpofu funded the trip.
“It is true that we brought four buses to welcome our President in Lupane,” Moyo said.
The supporters sang praise songs for President Mugabe from around midday to 3pm when the former guerrilla leader’s helicopter landed.
President Mugabe was accompanied by Mpofu, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba and Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge, among other dignitaries.