Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
PREPARATIONS for President Mugabe’s meeting with youths at Sakubva Stadium scheduled for next Friday are progressing well with Mutare City Council working around the clock to spruce up the venue.
Mutare Town Clerk, Mr Joshua Maligwa, said the municipality’s health, engineering and housing departments were working around the clock to make the event a success. Mr Maligwa said they were widening the road to Mutare Aerodrome and patching potholes and shoulders of all roads leading to the venue, while making sure there was no litter and sprouting grass in and around Sakubva Stadium. “By the end of this week, Mutare City will be on top of the situation. Our health, housing and engineering workforce is working around the clock, and the work is being monitored by a stakeholder committee every two days,” said Mr Maligwa.
Manicaland wants to surpass the Mashonaland East rally in terms of numbers, logistics and general organisation of the meeting. In an interview on Wednesday, Zanu-PF national secretary for youth affairs in the Politburo, Cde Kudzi Chipanga, said the management of the rallies would stick to the templates of the 21st February Celebrations, One Million Man March held last year and recent Mashonaland East Presidential Youth Interface Rally.
“These programmes are being organised by the youth league and though we expect unwavering support from other wings and structures of the party to make them a resounding success, the management of the meetings remains our prerogative. “You may want to know why I am saying this – after the successful hosting of the Mashonaland East interactive meeting – we are beginning to witness people from other provinces stepping onto each other’s toes, trying to hijack the rallies from the armpit of the youth league for their own advantage.
“We have resources challenges as the youth league, and the main wing, women’s league and all affiliates should come in to support, not to lead. The programme remains the prerogative of the youth league, and when you assist to make these meetings a success, please do not attach conditions, do not demand to lead or dictate the course the meetings should take because we already have that guidance from President Mugabe.
We are creating a platform for President Mugabe to address challenges faced by youths, and those elements who are trying to abuse the meetings to their personal advantage, settle scores or spruce their public image, we are saying you are targeting the wrong platform. These meetings are for President Mugabe and any agenda to the contrary is unacceptable,” said Cde Chipanga, adding that they would not tolerate someone storming the rally platform and taking over the microphone.
Cde Chipanga said the date of President Mugabe’s next visit to Masvingo would be announced this weekend. Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Cde Mandi Chimene, appealed to the people of Manicaland Province to come in their thousands, saying they want to surpass the benchmark set by Mashonaland East and set a new record for other provinces to beat.
“The party and Government are headed by His Excellency, President Mugabe, and as such, everyone is encouraged to play their part to ensure that the interactive meeting becomes a huge success. We are already on the ground, and various committees have been set up to ensure that all that is required to make President Mugabe’s visit to Manicaland a resounding success is in place. We are working as a team, and the business community is also involved,” said Cde Chimene.
Zanu-PF provincial youth chairperson, Cde Mubuso Chinguno, said that they were targeting to mobilise at least 60 000 party supporters for the Sakubva rally. Cde Chinguno said they had invited the Women’s League, Vice-Presidents, Politburo, Central Committee members, war veterans and war collaborators.
The Zanu-PF Youth League said the presence of other party wings at an interface meeting between President Mugabe and the youths shows the party’s preparedness in addressing challenges of antagonism in the party. “We want President Mugabe’s visit to Manicaland to be graced by at least 60 000, and youths across the province are working around the clock to ensure that the target is surpassed. “Come June 16, Zanu-PF’s mobilisation muscle will be felt. It is an honour for Manicaland to be receiving a revered African icon in the form of President Mugabe,” said Cde Chinguno.
Dr Samuel Undenge said the initiative was being spearheaded by the youth league, the party as a whole has to come in to support and ensure it is successful. “The party is fully behind the President’s visit and will chip in with logistical and resources support so that it is well attended. Everyone is enthusiastic and looking forward to the visit of our President and First Secretary of the party. We will do it as people of Manicaland. Resources will be availed by the party,” said Dr Undenge.