First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe is Friday afternoon taking her whirlwind campaign tour to Mutare where she is addressing Zanu Pf supporters at Sakubva Stadium in the Eastern border town.
NewsDay reporter Obey Manayiti is currently in Sakubva, providing a minute-by-minute account of the events, so stay with us and remember to keep refreshing the page for fresh updates.
14:15: Grace takes to the stage and says she is pained by the demolitions of houses and market stalls where women sell tomatoes.
Finally, she donates 10 tons of maize seed, mealie-meal and food hampers.
14:10 Muchinguri desribes Grace as a unifieir and defends Grace’s PHD and urges the First Lady not to be afraid of the (Women’s League top) position she is set to get.
13:45: Muchinguri takes to the stage and castigates ‘people at the centre of factionalism’, saying this is the cause of defections from the party.
13:40 A visibly angry Grace calls the Master of Ceremonies Nyasha Chikwinya to the podium, whispers something to her. Grace tells Minister Mushowwe to say something after the slogans. Mushowe appeals to the First Lady that besides the vast mineral resources in Manicaland, the province has nothing to show for it. After Mushowe’s speech, Grace shouts, “better!”
13:30 Manicaland Provincial Chairman Mvundura addresses Temba Mliswa as chair for Mash West despite the reported suspension.
13:00 Controversial slogans are being chanted, denouncing “gamtox” in apparent reference to Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa. This was resportedly the cause for the fighting among the youths earlier.
12:40 Grace Mugabe arrives to wild cheers from Zanu PF supporters. Meanwhile Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba makes a thunderous entry into the stadium.
By 10:30, both Grace and the party’s Manicaland provincial leadership have not yet arrived.
Noteworthy is the low attendance compared to other Zanu PF rallies; the bigger part of Sakubva Stadium is still unoccupied.
Skirmishes have been witnessed with some youths turning violent on each other, and making accusations along factional lines. However police were quick to intervene and calm them down.
Several officials including Local government minister Ignatius Chombo and Information minister Jonathan Moyo are now here.
AND suspended Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairman Temba Mliswa is seen chatting with Patrick Zhuwawo and Phillip Chiyangwa.
Click here to read about Mliswa’s suspension