A SOLIDARITY march planned by a Zanu PF Bulawayo faction aligned to First Lady Grace Mugabe flopped yesterday after less than 80 people turned up for the event in the city centre.
The march — that began at the Main Post Office — was initially set to start at 10am, but was delayed by an hour, as the organisers tried to woo residents to join them.
Even attempts to plead with hundreds of party supporters gathered at Zanu PF’s provincial offices at Davis Hall where they were getting accredited for next month’s elective congress, failed, forcing the organisers to hire a 25-seater commuter omnibus to provide transport to collect party members from the high-density suburbs.
The organiser of the march, George Mlala, claimed that the demonstration had been sabotaged by ousted provincial chairman Callistus Ndlovu.
“This is sabotage, they (Ndlovu executive) sabotaged the march,” Mlala told our sister paper Southern Eye after the march.
“I am the chairperson of the province and I expect my orders to be followed, we told everyone to attend the march.”
The small group failed to draw the attention of the normally curious vendors and passers-by, who carried on with their activities.
Mlala claimed that Zanu PF only participated in solidarity after the idea of a march was brought forward by the shadowy Bulawayo Citizens’ Association.
He expressed dismay at Zanu PF officials who went ahead with the accreditation process, saying this had caused the rally to flop.
“We told office bearers to delay the accreditation process until after lunch so that party supporters could attend the morning march and I was surprised this morning after they chose to ignore us and went ahead with the accreditation thus resulting in party members failing to attend this march,” Mlala said.
“We will deal with them.
“We are going to take necessary corrective measures against the office bearers who chose to ignore my directive. They are still suffering from a hangover of the Callistus Ndlovu executive.”
Mlala accused officials at Zanu PF provincial headquarters, Davis Hall, of being against Grace, warning he would deal with them.
“They have shown that they are against the First Lady that is why they chose to sabotage this march aimed at pledging support to the First Family,” he said.
“This is a revolution and those that stand in the way of the revolution will be crushed.”