BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
THE Zanu PF youth league has organised a solidarity march in Harare to show their support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, with the event being held under the theme #EDWillNeverWalkAlone#.
The march will be held in Harare on February 21, a date previously known as the 21st movement day in honour of former President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing about 300 district youth chairpersons from Mashonaland East in Marondera, the ruling party’s national youth league political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu said the solidarity march was meant to send a message to opposition parties and the outside world that Mnangagwa was the country’s sole legitimate leader.
“As the national executive of the youth league, we held a meeting on February 5, where we resolved that as youths, we need to go out and show the world that President Mnangagwa was elected by the people,” Tsenengamu, who recently led the ouster of Zanu PF youth league boss Pupurai Togarepi, said.
“As the vanguard of the party, we need to send a message that ED is our leader, who we elected into office. We are aware of the sanctions being renewed by the United States and the EU [European Union]. As the youth league, we won’t be silent while he is being insulted and his name being dragged in the mud.”
The march, which coincides with Mugabe’s birthday, comes hardly a month after a wave of anti-government protests, which were quashed by the military and police, resulting in the death of at least 17 people.
Human rights organisations have produced damning dossiers, narrating how the military fatally shot civilians, raped women and carried out nocturnal visits at perceived anti-government activists’ homes and brutally assaulted them, oftentimes in front of their families.
But Mnangagwa said the rape reports were fabricated, demanding that the estimated 20 victims come out in the open and report to police.
Tsenengamu said they had since communicated the solidarity event, which will see Mashonaland East providing 30 000 youths who are to travel to Harare.
“We are having a solidarity event in Harare, to be held between February 21 and 23 as communicated to us. Every Zanu PF youth is expected to be in Harare. Yesteryear youths went to war and liberated this country. Today, as youths, it is time to stand up and send a bold statement to the opposition and the outside forces that we are behind President Mnangagwa,” he said.
“Sometime back, during the Mugabe era, I once said touch not the successor, referring to President Mnangagwa. Today, I am saying touch not our President. Let it be a clear message.”
Other notable youth executive members at the meeting were Tonderai Bosha, Edmore Kandira, Mashonaland West youth league boss Vengai Musengi and Mashonaland East provincial youth leader, Kelvin Mutsvairo.
Two years ago, Zanu PF supporters staged a solidarity march in Harare in support of then underfire former First Lady Grace Mugabe, who was facing allegations of attacking a South African model for socialising with her sons, Robert Mugabe Junior and Chatunga, at a Johannesburg hotel.
In November 2017, the party organised a solidarity march for Mugabe just a few days after he fired Mnangagwa.