All is set for President Mnangagwa’s visit to Gwanda today, with Matabeleland South Province making final preparations yesterday. He will launch the Command Livestock Programme at Gwanda Show Grounds and address a star rally at Phelandaba Stadium.
The provincial development committee chaired by the Provincial Affairs Minister Abednico Ncube met in Gwanda yesterday where planning committees presented reports on the final preparations ahead of the visit.
In an interview in Gwanda on Wednesday, Cde Ncube said President Mnangagwa will hand over about 600 head of cattle to A1, A2 and communal farmers.
“We are excited to be hosting President Emmerson Mnangagwa who will be visiting our province on Friday (today).
“He is expected to launch the Command Agriculture Programme where he will also hand over about 600 cattle to A1, A2 and communal farmers at the Gwanda Show Grounds. He will thereafter address a rally at Phelandaba Stadium.
“The Command Livestock Programme is very important for our farmers because our province is partly dependent on livestock farming,” he said.
Cde Ncube said preparations for President Mnangagwa’s visit were at an advanced stage and people from all the seven districts in the province were expected to converge in Gwanda for the two events.
Tomorrow the President will tour Ekusileni Hospital in Bulawayo, before addressing a rally at White City Stadium.
zanu-pf Bulawayo provincial secretary for information, Cde Christopher Sibanda said yesterday:
“We’re ready to host President Mnangagwa in our province on Saturday. He’ll tour Ekusileni Hospital and also address a rally at White City Stadium. This is part of the President’s national programme to meet the people in all provinces.
Everybody from Bulawayo is invited to attend the rally and meet the President. He’s not coming to meet the zanu-pf people but the people of Bulawayo. We’ve already sent people on the ground to invite the people of Bulawayo to the rally.”
He said everybody should be seated at the stadium by 6AM.
Bulawayo provincial secretary for transport and welfare Cde Victor Mpofu said they were already organising resources to make sure people are transported to the venue on time.
“Everything is in place and we’re ready for the President’s visit. We’re working closely with our counterparts in Harare to make sure that everything runs smoothly on Saturday.
“We’ve arranged transport for all those who want to attend the rally. I would like to encourage those who live near White City Stadium to walk to the venue so that the available vehicles can ferry more people,” said Cde Mpofu.
In March, President Mnangagwa pledged to work towards the reopening of Ekusileni Hospital in the shortest possible time.
The health institution, which was closed a few months after its opening in 2001 after its equipment was deemed obsolete, is the brainchild of the late Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
President Mnangagwa’s White City Stadium rally is his first at the venue and in the city since he took over after the resignation of Mr Robert Mugabe last November. White City is the place where, while addressing a youth rally there, Mr Mugabe announced he could sack Cde Mnangagwa, then his deputy. That was after ruling party youths had booed Mrs Grace Mugabe for denouncing Cde Mnangagwa in her address.
Cde Mabutho Moyo, one of those arrested for the booing, is eager to hear President Mnangagwa’s address in Bulawayo.
“Naturally to us, this is a huge relief. It is not a secret that White City is where everything was ignited. We were pained by what was happening last year with regards to the direction that not only the party was taking, but the nation also, as it was now in the clutches of criminals,” Cde Moyo.
“We mobilised ourselves as the youths and vowed that we would not allow the rot to go any further. You will recall that we kept quiet initially as she was addressing, but we erupted when she tried to defend Jonathan Moyo and attack Cde Mnangagwa.”
Cde Moyo said they are happy that the experience Cde Mnangagwa will have at White City tomorrow will be different from that of last year.
“He comes now representing the new dispensation and bringing a lot of hope for a new Zimbabwe,” he said.
With the country inching towards the July 30 harmonised elections, Cde Moyo feels that his Zanu-PF party is poised for a shattering victory and tomorrow’s address is part of the journey to that victory.