ZANU PF will on Saturday use a National Railways of Zimbabwe train to transport its supporters to a party rally to be addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Mutasa, Manicaland province as campaigning for the 2023 polls gathers steam.
The party has been using various modes of transport that include school and the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) buses to ferry party supporters to rallies.
The star rally is scheduled for Beaulieu Primary School in Mutasa South constituency.
It comes after Zanu PF Mutasa South MP Misheck Mugadza won the March 26 by-elections, defeating Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate Regai Tsunga, who was recalled last year from Parliament by MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora.
Mugadza told NewsDay that Zanu PF supporters would be transported to Mnangagwa’s star rally on a passenger train from Rusape to Mutare.
He said they would then be taken to the rally venue by Zupco buses.
“This is a celebration event and we want everyone to be there. We are not bussing people, but we want people to attend and eat with their President,” Mugadza said.
“We are expecting over 10 000 Zanu PF supporters and friends of our President Mnangagwa to come. There is a train that is going to ferry people from Makoni district to Mutare where they will connect to the venue using Zupco buses.”
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Mugadza said the event was scheduled for an earlier date, but was postponed because Mnangagwa had other commitments.
Senior Zanu PF members who refused to be named said a resolution was made to direct all Zupco buses in Mutare to the rally.
“Yes there was a resolution that will see party supporters being ferried to the venue in Mutasa district by Zupco buses,” the source said.
Zanu PF Makoni district co-ordinating committee chairperson Albert Nyakuedzwa also confirmed that party supporters would be transported by railway to Manicaland.
“I was not in the meeting when the train issue was discussed, but some of our supporters are going to be ferried to the rally by train. We have also organised other modes of transport,” Nyakuedzwa said.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF officials in Hwedza district have petitioned party leaders expressing disgruntlement over the just-ended central committee elections, which they allege were rigged.
Top party officials like Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana (Hwedza North MP) and former Transport deputy minister Michael Madanha signed the petition seeking to nullify the weekend election results.
Musabayana and Madanha contested and lost to Bertha Choto and Esther Gwatidzo, respectively.
They claim that candidates were denied the right to observe or verify ballot papers, and suspicious movement of ballot papers, while their agents were not allowed to observe the voting process, among other complaints.
They want a re-run of the elections. The party is yet to respond to the petition.