Nduduzo Tshuma Bulawayo Bureau
10:15 First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has arrived in Lupane, Matabeleland North for her Meet the People Rally. She will have two closed door meetings at Lupane State University, firstly with Central Committee Members and with Politburo Members.
10:20 Matabeleland North Politburo and Central Committee members, Dr Obert Mpofu and Cde Sithembiso Nyoni are among the cast Lupane. Cde Naison Kutshwekhaya Ndlovu and Zanu-PF National Chairman Simon Khaya Moyo also in attendance.
11:00 An impressive crowd anxiously waiting for First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe at Somhlolo Stadium and Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa is here in Lupane for the Meet the People and Thank You Rally.
11:55 Amai Mugabe arrives at the venue, Somhlolo Stadium amid wild cheers and rapturous applause by the crowd. Matabeleland North traditional leaders, chief Mathuphula, Mabhikwa and Gampu are part of the attendees.
12:05 Zanu-PF Matabeleland North Provincial chairperson Cde Richard Moyo addressing the crowd now. He says there is no factionalism in Mat North. The crowd goes wild in concurrence with his sentiments.
12:10 Prof Jonathan Moyo, Cde Philip Chiyangwa, Cde Supa Mandiwanzira, Cde Patrick Zhuwawo and Cde Andrew Langa, Mliswa are also at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane”
12:13 Youth leaders being introduced here and they denounce ‘Gamatox’ – a pesticide that is lethal to humans – throwing the crowd into frenzy.
12:20 Cde Patrick Zhuwawo takes the microphone and chants ‘Pasi nemapoison ose!’ drawing laughter from the crowd. Cde Edison Chakanyuka takes over the microphone and chants ‘Pasi nezvipfukuto.
12:45 A little bit of chiding here between Philip Chiyangwa and Temba Mliswa. Chiyangwa says ‘Pasi neGamatox,’ and Mliswa intejects, ‘Phidza wakufarisa, ndiani akupidza musangano?’
12:50 Mliswa charges at Chiyangwa and accuse him of calling Cde Didymus Mutasa, Gamatox. “Today you call Mutasa ‘Gamatox’? We’ll meet in central committee,” he says. Chiyangwa quips, “So Mutasa is Gamatox?”
12:58 Chiyangwa and Mliswa end the banter and Hurungwe West Legislator tells people that, ‘Phidza is my muzukuru,’ and Chiyangwa buys him and everyone around an ice cream.
13:04 First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe preparing to take to the podium and the Master of Ceremony warns those ‘hired to come here and boo the First Lady not to even try it.’
13:10 First Lady speaking now and promises to learn isiNdebele. She just told the crowd that her language was Zulu. Former Mat North governor, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu is interpreting for Amai Mugabe.
13:20 Amai Mugabe blasts people who are jostling for Zanu PF Vice Presidency post and says senior party officials should lead by example. She also reaffirmed her commitment of uprooting factionalism in the party.
13:40 She says the architects who designed Zimbabwe leave a lot to be desired. There are uniform and uninspiring buildings all over the place.
13:50″ President Mugabe knows we need good roads, but sanctions have held us back. But we’re just getting started, let’s be patient,” she urges.
14:00 The First Lady has finished her address. Catch us again tomorrow for the Bulawayo Metropolitan Rally.