We are covering live Zanu PF’s Million men march.
Richard Chidza, Obey Manayiti, Tafadzwa Ufumeli giving updates from the ground.
Editing & social media by Tapiwa Zivira and Tinotenda Samukange
Earlier on we asked our readers about the preparations, follow the conversation.
1440: President Mugabe is now on the podium, he equates gathering to 1980 when he won his first election in independence Zimbabwe.
The 92-year-old begins his usual anti-West diatribe…
Nobody can move the rock of Zimbabwe you have created here today…it’s what we want to see the party doing.
We never campiagned for positions its a new culture to us…We never knew people go to n’angas seeking positions..I never wanted or campaigned to be president…Even in government, some want certain cabinet positions
1405: Grace Mugabe is back!
She takes the podium and bootlicks her husband, quoting the book of Jeremiah …”God knew you and set u apart…appointed prophet to the nations”
The bootlicking continues>>>
President tinoda kuti muite President even in your grave. You are irreplacable says First lady #MillionManMarch
— tafadzwa ndlovu (@ndlovutaffy) May 25, 2016
Meanwhile, a scramble for food by the hungry supporters:
— Lizwe Chitanganya (@lizweC) May 25, 2016
1310. Its bootlicking spree as Bishop Manhanga prays for God’s spirit on Mugabe.
After the prayer, youth chairs are being introduced, marking the return of chants and slogans in support of First Lady Grace Mugabe. “Pasi nevanotuka Dr Grace..” Only the Midlands chair did not chant Grace slogan
Meanwhile, there are dozens of buses belonging to schools, colleges and other institutions. Zupco has been traditionally used to ferry Zanu PF supporters – often without any payement- but after years of mismanagement and abuse, the company no longer has as many buses that Zanu PF can use.
By 1300 President Robert Mugabe has arrived, accompanied by his wife Grace and they are being driven to the podium in Ford Ranger truck as they wave to the crowd.
By 12:45. Mathias Mhere is performing live before the crowd, as they wait for the arrival of President Robert Mugabe. Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has already arrived together with some senior Zanu PF officials. NewsDay will resume updates when Mugabe arrives for his speech.
By 12 noon. We have received reports that commuters in city bound minibuses were being asked to get off their buses to join the march into the city centre.
By 11 am.
Zanu PF supporters are still marching from all the entry points to the square. Meanwhile, reports from Shamva indicate there was coercion of villagers to board the lorries that have ferried people to the march today.
Members of the apostolic sect arrive singing “Gabriel the leader” in reference to Mugabe, whose middle name is Grabriel.
By 8 am: Several thousands of people are trooping into Rufaro, but there seems to be little coordination with some from Masvingo, Mashonaland Central and East and Harare all in there.
Only 20 buses here and several small trucks,about 2000 people gathering, a far cry from the expected over 100 000 from this side.
Meanwhile, at East 24, where the majority of those from Mashonaland East are coming from, Tafadzwa Ufumeli reports that there is a large crowd, probably the largest of them all, considering Mash East is a Zanu PF stronghold.