ZANU PF is pulling out all stops for President Emmerson Mnangagwa‘s first rally since the disputed July 30 elections which will be held in former President Robert Mugabe’s home area, three days after the first anniversary of a military coup that forced his resignation.
Party provincial chairperson and Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a provincial co-ordinating committee meeting last week that the rally would be a celebration of the demise of the “G40 cabal”.
G40, believed to have been Mugabe’s brainchild, was a faction within Zanu PF that up to November last year engaged in a fierce power struggle with Team Lacoste fronted by then Vice-President Mnangagwa.
“The President has directed that all MPs must thank the people for voting for them in July. He will lead by example by coming to Mashonaland West, the epicenter of the G40 cabal to the 313 000 people who voted for him.
“It is cause for celebration that President Mnangagwa got more votes than the former President (Mugabe) ever got in the province despite the fact that this (Mashonaland West) is the G40 birthplace,” Ziyambi told provincial leaders according to an official who attended the meeting.
Ziyambi was not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Insiders also said besides celebrating the poll victory, the rally was Mnangagwa’s cunning way of sending a clear message to Mugabe that he was now in charge
It is a clear message to the former President that Mugabe has to accept the new reality. The choice of Mugabe’s home area to stage the first ‘thank you’ rally is not a mistake. You will remember that when he was appointed Vice-President in 2014, his first stop was his home province of Midlands. This choice is instructive,” the official told NewsDay.
Zanu PF provincial vice-chairperson Dexter Nduna said the numbers who voted for Mnangagwa in the elections alone were cause for celebration.
“Yes we are celebrating our victory and have asked all districts to make transport arrangements for a resounding rally for the President. Many had claimed we would lose Mashonaland West to the opposition, but we worked hard. The opposition, even with support from the G40 failed,” Nduna said.
But the ruling party’s spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said Zanu PF will not be celebrating the anniversary of Mugabe’s forced departure.
“There is no need for us to celebrate. We are not stuck in the past and the President (Mnangagwa) has been very clear. We should let bygones be bygones. Zanu PF is concentrating on the revival of the economy and not personalities,” Khaya Moyo said.
“The rally is one of many that will come to thank our supporters for the crushing victory in July.”
Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa was also in Mashonaland West at the weekend “consulting” his supporters ahead of planned mass action against the declining economic situation in the country.
Chamisa has already been to Marondera in Mashonaland East as well as Beitbridge in Matabeleland South.