ZANU PF bigwigs closed down Mutare on Saturday as they flaunted their top-of-the-range all-terrain vehicles amid poverty-stricken citizens, mostly vendors, who were awe-struck by the procession which criss-crossed the city as the party gurus prepared for President Robert Mugabe’s rally on Friday.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
First to be caught by surprise were football fans at Sakubva Stadium, when the bigwigs invaded the pitch with just seven minutes to the kick-off of a match between former Premiership side Buffaloes and Tenax.
The referees, fans, football officials could not do anything, as the match was delayed by almost 20 minutes.
“The delegation had initially met at Mutare Polytechnic. From here (Mutare Polytechnic), we are going to the venue (Sakubva Stadium), where our President will address us. Let’s line up our vehicles let’s put on hazards and go at Sakubva Stadium,’’ said de facto head of delegation and Zanu PF provincial youth leader, Mubuso Chinguno, as he led the procession.
The entourage included Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanayi Chipanga, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene, Information minister Christopher Mushohwe and Energy minister Samuel Undenge, among others.
Vendors at Sakubva market and flea market could not help, but marvel at the procession, as it snaked its way past their stalls.
“My observation is that this venue is too small. (Mutare) Aerodrome would have been much better, but it’s now water under the bridge,” Mushohwe said after inspection of the stadium.
But Chipanga insisted that the venue was ideal, adding the youths had organised additional tents to cater for the overflow.
“This venue is good. Tents will be here by Monday (today). There is going to be an overflow,” he said.
From the stadium, the Zanu PF motorcade shocked vendors at Boka business centre, as it arrived unannounced and briefly made a stopover at Dangamvura Post Office, which is set to be converted into an information and communication centre.
Mugabe is expected to officially open the information and communication centre before addressing the rally at Sakubva Stadium.
Addressing youth leaders after a tour of the facilities, Chimene said on Friday, all defective vehicles carrying party supporters to the rally would be allowed to pass through police roadblocks without hitches.
“You said some vehicles do not have wheels, but I will make sure that they will not be harassed. We want to support you the youth. This is not our thing, but we want to make sure that we are supporting you,” she said.