From George Maponga in Masvingo
THOUSANDS of Zanu-PF supporters are today expected to throng Mucheke Stadium here for an address by President Mnangagwa as the ruling party rallies its supporters ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections. Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chair Cde Ezra Chadzamira yesterday said the province was ready to welcome President Mnangagwa in the country’s oldest city.
President Mnangagwa is expected to tour Mashava asbestos mine and the CSC plant in the city before addressing Zanu-PF supporters at Mucheke.
Cde Chadzamira said the ruling party leadership was working flat out to make sure the venue of President Mnangagwa’s rally is filled to the rafters.
“We are now ready to host the President tomorrow (today). It’s all systems go and we are expecting over 60 000 ruling party supporters to descend on Mucheke to hear President Mnangagwa’s address,’’ he said.
“The President will tour Mashava Mine and the CSC plant in Masvingo in a development that will pave way for the reopening of the two companies that are expected to stimulate Masvingo province’s economy,’’ said Cde Chadzamira.
President Mnangagwa’s tour of the two firms comes after Government secured investors who poured funds for their resuscitation.
Mashava Mine is expected to start operations in January next year when te de-watering of flooded shafts is due for completion. Several investors are also angling to revive the mothballed CSC plant in Masvingo.
At its peak, the CSC employed 4 000 workers.
Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Lieutenant-General (Retired) Engelbert Rugeje said President Mnangagwa deserved to be welcomed by a capacity crowd on his visit to Masvingo.
Lt-Gen (Rtd) Rugeje, who was addressing Zanu-PF supporters during a campaign rally at Museti Primary School in Bikita East on Wednesday, said the people of Masvingo should pay homage to President Mnangagwa for the work he has done to engender economic development in the province and the country following his rise to power last November.
‘’Only last weekend we were in Mutoko for President Mnangagwa’s rally where I tried to count the number of the people who attended but failed even to give an estimate because of the huge size of the crowd. However, I want President Mnangagwa’s Friday rally to beat all the previous rallies in terms of attendance,’’ he said.
The Zanu-PF National Political Commissar said Masvingo was generally indebted to President Mnangagwa after the province got five key portifolios in the the Politburo, the ruling party’s supreme decision-making body outside Congress.
Besides, Lt-Gen (Rtd) Rugeje who hails from Bikita, other senior party officials appointed into the Politburo after President Mnangagwa became Zanu-PF First Secretary are Cde Lovemore Matuke (Secretary for Security), Cde Josiah Hungwe (Secretary for Production and Labour),Cde Paul Mangwana (Secretary for Legal Affairs) and Cde Pupurai Togarepi (Secretary for Youth Affairs).
Lt-Gen (Rtd) Rugeje said after welcoming President Mnangagwa in large numbers the remaining task would be to vote for the President and Zanu-PF on July 30.
President Mnangagwa has so far been to Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West provinces where he toured projects of economic importance in those regions before addressing highly subscribed Zanu-PF rallies.
Surveys released so far have pointed to victory by President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.
The election, the surveys showed, is a two-horse race between President Mnangagwa and the MDC Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa.