Million-man march to gobble $600 000

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President R.G.Mugabe

THE Zanu PF youth league’s one million-man march, slated for this Wednesday in Harare to prop up President Robert Mugabe’s waning public support, is expected to gobble over $600 000, with the bulk of the money squeezed out of ailing parastatals, private firms and the few remaining white commercial farmers, NewsDay has heard.

by XOLISANI NCUBE/ BLESSED MHLANGA

Tendai Biti
Tendai Biti

Sources involved in mobilising resources for the political jamboree, which has been dismissed by opposition parties as a waste of resources, said they have agreed on a provisional budget of $600 000 to fund transport needs for all 10 provinces, food and accommodation for the delegates.

All the provinces have been ordered to transport at least 100 000 members, who would march to an open space next to the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare, where they would be addressed by Mugabe.

Youth league secretary for finance, Tongai Kasukuwere, said each province had been tasked to raise enough money to transport and feed its delegates, while the national executive would be responsible for hosting invited guests and printing solidarity T-shirts for the march.

“We don’t have a national fundraising team because we have assigned each province to mobilise its own money and see how they can fund their programmes. We will be receiving people here and, of course, we will take care of invited guests and other necessities,” he said.
In a letter soliciting donations, Bulawayo youth league secretary for finance, Davies Muhambi said they were targeting to spend at least $50 000 as a province.

“Our budget requirement for the event stands at $50 000,” he wrote.

“The amount will go towards meeting the requirements in the following categories: diesel — 26 000 litres, flour — six tonnes, juices — 5 000 litres, 100 buses and cash towards various payments.”

Loss-making parastatal, Zupco has also been ordered to release nearly 200 buses, while government and mission schools have been commandeered to donate their buses, lorries and small vans to ferry the youths from various provinces.

The host, Harare, has reportedly been tasked to raise $50 000 for printing of more than 200 000 T-Shirts, caps, bottled water and to feed senior party members.

Zanu PF deputy secretary for youth affairs, Kudzai Chipanga yesterday said: “All the provincial executives met at the weekend to finalise on modalities. Each and every province will carry its own people to and from Harare.

“Masvingo and part of Mashonaland provinces will assemble at Rufaro Stadium, Manicaland and the bulk of Mashonaland East and West provinces will be at East 24, Mashonaland Central at Cork Road close to South African Embassy, Harare, Matabeleland South and North and Bulawayo provinces will assemble at the National Sports Stadium.”

The Wednesday event comes against a backdrop of grinding poverty, where at least four million people need urgent food aid as the economy continues to nose dive.

But all this has not deterred Mugabe, who last month blew $2 million hosting over 10 000 war veterans during a meeting, which only lasted three hours.

Early this year, Mugabe shelled out $800 000 on his lavish 92nd birthday celebrations in drought-stricken Masvingo province.

This came shortly after his party, Zanu PF, had flown its entire central committee membership from Harare to Victoria Falls for the Zanu PF national people’s conference in December, blowing nearly $300 000 on travel alone and another $10 million in accommodation and food.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti has claimed that Mugabe always withdrew $4 million from Treasury each time he travelled out of the country.

This year alone, the President has travelled more than 20 times, meaning he would have spent $80 million in travel alone if Biti’s projections were true.

Opposition parties and activists have also blasted government after it emerged that it was funding First Lady Grace Mugabe rallies at taxpayers’ expense.

21 COMMENTS

    • Please someone school me, what is the purpose of this solidarity march? Who or what is the threat to Prez’s well-being? Who is threatening his very secure presidency, that came through a landslide victory in 2013? Chombo says to gauge support for the party – is this not a measurement of how far the revolutionary party has fractured thru endless factional bickering? From my perspective, ZANU PF’s greatest enemy is itself.

  1. iwe, varikutaura zvemufirimu. hakuna munhu anouya kumadhaka akadai! vakazadza Rufaro stadium ndingatya

  2. Zvakaoma vakomana. Nerumwe rutivi mai Mujuru havadi kuguta mazimari echiyadzwa. Zimbabwe yakaita Seiko vakomana. Ko vanhu ngavangovhotera Presiden chinyararirezvekana vachivada. Handi a vote is a secret here. Who are they demonstrating or marching against? How many tonnes of maize or civil servants can be paid from that amount. How many roads can be resurfaced? Gentlemen hey.

  3. this million march thing should just turn into a million men demonstration….zvinhu zvinganake muzimbabwe

  4. nxaaa mapenzi evanhu, I wish they would divert this energy into raising money to develop schools in less developed areas of Zimbabwe, or raise this money to import maize for drought stricken areas… or come up with projects to empower youths and channel these funds ikoko. Kuda kungofadza vanhu vane maguta avo zvavo, ivo vachidaywo navo. Shame on you youth league…..uye why force people to raise mari munguva dzakaomera vanhu kudai??? if they were for the same cause handiti vanhu vanouya wega here pasina kumbotumwa kana kunzi handei handei…….as the experts are saying, you can rig an election but you CANT rig the economy…hapana hapana….

  5. these figures are not understood by ordinary folks coz dai vaiziva zvaarikuvera with the state of the country no one would entertain this zanu pf government,u will be surprised nevanhu vachauya pa million march mirai henyu muone kufara kunenge kuchiita vanhu vacho

  6. Zimbabwe needs more than a million man march. We need to do away with corruption,working hard, promote local SMEs, promote agriculture, revamp the ailing local manufacturing industries, support youth and women projects, avoid persecuting those with opposing or divergent political or economic views, stop threatening one another with death, violence or disappearance, promote consumption of locally produced goods, reduce imports where necessary. Love one another as Zimbabweans and believe and trust in the Lord. Zimbabwe is a beautiful county that belongs to us all.

  7. If Robert Gabriel Mugabe is for the people on the eve of 23 he shud ask all the provinces to account for every money they raised and then ask them to import food for distribution in their areas instead of coming to match for one day and go back to hunger.

  8. Its funny, the MDCT march did not gobble resources, only ZANU PF marches gobble resources! What double standards. Comment on your issues and leave ZANU PF issues to ZANU PF. The march goes on, in spite of the detractors’ hullabaloo!

  9. This is a march orchestrated by Mugabe himself for self serving egoistical purposes.

    To start with this geriatric is well past retirement age and wouldn’t be able to get any other job other than this one he forces himself on.
    What does such a march serve when the economy is in the intensive care? Zanu PF or whatever, the people want an able leader who can deliver and not a globe trotter whose grand children are even being born in foreign places. Enough.

  10. Its their constitutional right to march. Please police do not interfere with this peaceful march to show support to our president. We know you will try to disrupt this peaceful march by banning it or threatening to beat up marchers.

  11. ITS A lie the march will gobble more than 5 million dollars. transporting a million people from across the country can not cost half the number of the marchers. So will each person be ferried at a cost of 50 cents?? If people from Bulawayo and Hwange were to be ferried at a dollar each then the march will not be costing this less.

  12. How costly is it taking to fix this lie? It will be very interesting to see a multitude of hustlers and sufferers defying the reality displayed all over their faces marching in the streets to ‘demystify’ the obvious. If the country was a company or personal business, it would have long gone insolvent with such huge proportions of economic mismanagement. Ironically, the ‘shareholders’ are dancing to the tune. Pathetic to say the least.

  13. $600000 is an understatement. Let me unpack it for you. At 100 000 people from each of the 10 provinces you would need more than 1000 buses per province. Zimbabwe as a whole does no have 1000 buses . Suppose the buses are there, at a conservative estimate of $10 per round trip $10 000 000 will be required. You can use the train but how do these people get to the train station? On food if we allow for 4 meals over 2 days at $1.00 per meal thats a cool $4 000 000. If the marchers march along one road with 10 lines across the road and half a metre apart. each line will be 50km long, If you pack them like saddines allowing 400mm box per person ,you will need 160 000square metres. If they stand covering a circular field the furthest person will be abuot 400 m from the podium at the centre/. I could go on and calculate the number of toilets required. Needless to say a few thousand people will march and we will be told it was a million people and these are the youths who are supposed to be future leaders ZVAKAOMA

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