UPDATES: Nyemudzai Kakore, Daniel Nemukuyu, Innocent Ruwende, Believe Nyakudjara. EDITOR: Happiness Chikwanha and Musah Gwaunza
SOCIAL MEDIA: Timothy Elson Maponga
24 May: The Herald gives you live updates of the One Million-Man March being organized by the Zanu-PF Youth League and to be held on May 25, 2016.
The preparatory committee of the Youth League held its last meeting yesterday with officials saying all was in place for the march. War veterans have also announced that they are duty-bound to participate in the march, which is being held to celebrate the “visionary and iconic leadership of President Mugabe”.
The Youth League has also created assembly points from where its members will march to the venue, the Robert Mugabe Square near Rainbow Towers Hotel.
Masvingo and Mashonaland East will gather at Rufaro Stadium, Manicaland at Raylton Sports Club, Mashonaland West at Kensington Shopping Centre and Mashonaland Central opposite the South African Embassy. Midlands and Matabeleland provinces will assemble at the National Sports Stadium.
18:50 - Zanu PF provincial Chairperson for Matabeleland South, Cde Rabeleni Choeni says his province has mobilized a total of 21 buses which will carry people to the march on Wednesday for the Million-Man March. Other party supporters have reportedly opted to use own transport to Harare.
“We have mobilised a lot of people for this crucial event. A lot of people have shown interest in participating in the march. All the buses will leave their respective districts tonight (Tuesday) and we converge at the National Sports Stadium in the morning (Wednesday),” said Cde Choeni.
Pick-up areas will include Beitbridge, Gwanda, Insiza, Matobo, Mangwe and Bulilima districts respectively.
19:17 – Manicaland is geared for the Million-Man March with buses and resources having been mobilised in all the seven districts. Mutare Urban is leading the mobilisation efforts as they have managed to come up with 20 buses, enough for the city’s 19 wards.
Each ward has its own bus which is expected to leave the city at 4am, Wednesday. Each travelling delegate has food hampers lined up for them, with Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator, Cde Isau Mupfumi, saying $5 000 has been mobilised to cater for the welfare of delegates during the trip to and from Harare.
25 May: (Edited)
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated President Mugabe on the occasion of Africa Day celebrations which are commemorated annually on May 25, to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963.
President Mugabe is the only surviving Head of State and Government who attended the formation of the OAU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
07:28 - The historic Million-Man March organised by the Zanu PF Youth League in solidarity with President Mugabe is now in full force with party members being accredited who failed to get their accreditation yesterday.
08:00 – By 9am all Provinces had assembled in the designated assembly points where they would begin the march to Robert Mugabe Square, behind Rainbow Towers.
09:12- Service Chiefs, Traditional leaders, Politburo members, Central Committee members, Cabinet Ministers, Senators and Members of Parliaments will arrive from 11 am to 1:10.
09:28 - The two Vice Presidents Cde Mnangagwa and Cde Mphoko are expected to arrive at 11:30 am
09:30 - President Mugabe is expected to arrive around midday with the main programme commencing with the singing of the National Anthem.
09:56 - Several provinces are gathered at the National Sports Stadium. They are being given food and t-shirts for the march.
09:59 – The delegates used more than 50 buses . . .and more are still streaming in. They have come from as far as Victoria Falls. Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane together with MP Tambudzai Mohadi are part of the crowd.
10:05 - Minister Hlongwane says the day is a very special one celebrating the various achievements of President Mugabe. He says it is important that youths have decided to honour His Excellency in this special way.
10: 09 – Youths are awaiting instructions to start marching to the venue.
10:13 – A drone being operated by ZBC is the center of attraction at the moment.
10:22- Along the roads leading to Robert Mugabe Square police are controlling traffic as thousands march towards the venue.
10:35- Harare Province has started marching from Raylton Sports Club
10:44 – Thousands have already gathered at Robert Mugabe Square behind Rainbow Towers in Harare as more march singing and chanting slogans.
10:04 – By 10:40 the thousands gathered at the National Sports Stadium have started to march into town to join the rest of the provinces at Robert Mugabe Square, the main venue of the event.
11:08 – By 10:50 Masvingo province has started marching from Rufaro Stadium in Mbare.
11:33- Meanwhile the thousands from the NSS are now at the Exhibition Center as they march to Robert Mugabe Square.
11:38 – Meanwhile thousands have taken positions at the main venue.
11:41 – Thousands continue streaming into Robert Mugabe Square . . .
11:46 - The Herald can confirm that delegates from Harare, Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces have arrived at the Venue.
MORE IMAGES FROM ROBERT MUGABE SQUARE
12:06 – Other dignitaries who have arrived at the venue include Defence Minister Cde Sydney Sekeramayi, Environment Water and Climate Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri, Harare Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Miriam Chikukwa and Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Cde Jonathan Moyo.
12:18 - Vice President Mphoko has arrived. Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Chris Mushowe is at the venue as well.
12:28 - Secretary for Adminstration Cde Ignatius Chombo is here. Meanwhile Gospel singer Mathias Mhere is now entertaining the crowd.
12:58- Zim Dancehall musician Soul Jah Love entertaining the crowd.
12:59 – His Excellency President Mugabe arrives amid thunderous applause!
13:01 - President Mugabe’s son Chatunga has entered the venue.
13:13 – President Mugabe has entered the venue accompanied by First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe and Deputy Youth League secretary Cde Kudzanai Chipanga.
13:14 – National Anthem under way . . .
13:16 – Bishop Trevor Manhanga conducts the opening prayer.
13:27 - The MC is now introducing all the provinces.
13:29 – Cde Sandi Moyo leads the Women’s League Executive in chanting slogans.
13:30 – National Youth League executives take to the ground to chant their slogan as they greet the President. The MC is Cde Innocent Hamandishe.
13:32 – Cde Chipanga takes to the podium to introduce members of the Youth League Executive.
13:33 – Chipanga announces that several churches, business people, chiefs and thousands from the various corners of Zimbabwe are represented.
13:34 – Chipanga invites Cde Chombo to the podium to meet the people.
13:35 – Vice President Mphoko takes to the podium to meet the people as he chants the slogan in isiNdebele
13:36 – Chipanga invites Vice President Mnangagwa who takes to the podium chanting “Viiiiiiiiiiiva Baba Mugabeeeeee…..Viiiiiiiiva Baba Mugabe…..!”
FRELIMO Youth League of Mozambique, SWAPO of Namibia and BDP (edited) of Botswana are also represented.
13:39 – Cde Lazarus Chintenga from SWAPO takes to the podium to deliver his message of solidarity.
13:40 - the MC gives a brief on the build up and eventual organisation of the Million-Man march.
13:44 - Cde Chipanga says they chose this day to be in solidarity with you after President Mugabe’s tenure as SADC and AU Chairman. “This has motivated youths to praise you as youths rather than to wait for outsiders to do that for us.”
13:45 - He says Mashonaland East Province was the brains behind the One Man Million March.
13:46 – He says they are working with the Women’s League and the War Veterans. He emphasises that youths are children of War Veterans and that they have no option but to unite as they need each other.
ON MISPLACED PRIORITIES
13:49 - ”We now want what we have requested from the party to be implemented. We requested for the renaming of the Harare International Airport. But this is yet to be done.
The Youths are concerned about the economy of the country. We want to use you to open opportunities for the youths and achieve total economic emancipation.
13:50 We are saying type of currency is not an issue. We emphasize production. We therefore encourage our ministries to open up opportunities for the youth. The youth are worried about the way government sometimes lets the youth down.
13:51 Some senior party members are in competition of exchanging top of the range vehicles like they are changing shoes. That tendency by the ministers and Chief Executive Officers must stop. President Mugabe we do not see you doing this but the ministers have the guts to do that.
13:53 - We are worried that Government buys maize from outside the country. But we fail to pay our own farmers for the same from Rusape, Mutoko, Zvimba and through out.
13:54 – We are worried that most of the time we do not get executives and government officials in their offices. they are always out on workshops outside the country. Don’t we have venues here, says Cde Chipanga.
13:55 – We are worried about corruption. ZIMRA is on the fore front. “Mushandi wekuZIMRA akapinda basa nhasi, mangwana atenga motokari. Their lifestyle does not correspond with their earnings,” says Cde Chipanga.
13:58 - He says youth are being sidelined on inputs schemes. He requests that a Youth Input Scheme be implemented to cater for the million youth.
He also says they also need land, but emphasizes that not everyone can be a farmer. However most of the youth were born when the land reform programme was started in 2000.
He says land for the urban youth is appropriate even for residential stands and this should be done for the youth who could not benefit 16 years ago since they were still young.
DOWNSIZING OF FARMS
14:00 - We propose that farms which are not being utilised be downsized. Those being utilised be left as they are for now, but in future should be downsized to also accommodate women and youth.
14:01 – Cde Chipanga also talks of the so called “makorokozas” or gold panners whom he says should be recognized so that they formalise their operations. he says youth were ordered from Chiadzwa diamond fields to pave way for big companies, but what happened-they stole $15 billion.
14:02 – He also calls upon parastatals to include the youth in their boards of directors as a way of making sure youth fully participate in the country’s economic turn around. He promises that, ”As the Youth League, we will prepare concerns raised in all Provinces.”
14:09 – First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe takes to the podium.
In her remarks she also emphasises the Women’s League support towards President Mugabe’s leadership.
She says President Mugabe is irreplaceable. She says he would rather continue with his leadership even from the National Heroes acre in the event of death.
14:15 – Mabasa ako aunoita ndiwo anoita kuti usarase hunhu hwako. VaMugabe mabasa enyu amunoita zvicharamba zvichingoita kuti murambe muri munhu pakati pevanhu.”
She thanks Cde Chipanga for the time she has been given to give remarks jokingly saying “ndikaramba ndotaura ndingazonzi, “ndaimbova munhu” and leaves the podium amid a thunderous applause.
14:18 – Legendary musician Oliver Mtukudzi takes the space with a song as he entertains the crowd in preparation for President Mugabe to come to the podium.
INTERVIEW: Tongai Kasukuwere – Zanu-PF Youth League Secretary for Finance
14:31 - The First Lady, the two Vice Presidents and Party members are dancing to Mtukudzi’s “Tsika Dzedu.”
14:35 – President Mugabe takes to the podium as he chants slogans as he gives salutations (edited).
14:36 “Ndinoda kuvamba nekupa rukudzo kuvatsigiri vangu. ndichivamba na Cde Mnangagwa vanova VP vedu muParty, VP Mphoko zvakare . . .”
“Ndichitenda zvakare basa raitwa rekutsigira vadiki vedu nemusangano wedu. Ndinoda kutenda vaChombo Secretary ve Administration, nevamwe vatsigiri vari pano. ndoda kutendawo zvakare . . .
14:39 - He recognizes the Service Chiefs starting with General Constantine Chiwenga and the rest (Service commission, judiciary, Senate, visiting revolutionary representatives from other countries.
14:43 – “Vechidiki vedu…mwanakomana uyu Chipanga, akati vane pfungwa yekutu vave nekurumbidza President we Party, wekurumbidza President weParty sezvaataura, nebudiriro yedu, nehutungamiriri hwatakaratidza muAfrica. asi zvikuru tichiratidza munyika medu se Zimbabwe. VaChipanga nevakomana nevasikana vese vamunotungamirira..mbiri iripo pazuva ranhasi iri kwamuri. Mati makashanda nemadzimai…tichivamba namai Mugabe, Mai Sandi nevamwe, tinoda kukutendai zvikuru-kuru.”
14:46 – President Mugabe acknowledges the success of the mobilization of the youth and notes however that some are reportedly still on their way to the venue although transport was the biggest challenge.
14:47 – President Mugabe is presenting his speech in Shona, one of the country’s main local languages (Analysis will be translated into English-stay logged in).
14:49 – Today is Africa Day, our day to remember how we started as the colonial victims. We are no longer colonies. We are no longer under the British, the Portuguese, the French . . .
President Mugabe also narrates Africa’s colonial history touching on the history of the Belgians in Congo and Tanzania under the British including Ghana, Nigerian, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and others.
He narrates how African nations fought against this colonial legacy leading to the independent continent Africa is today.
“Zvino kupemberera kwatinoita isu muno muZimbabwe, zuva ranhasi kwatiri isu raisvonatswa nevadiki vedu vemusangano, vanana Chipanga vachitsigirwa nemadzimai. Varatidza kuti kana uine chido chakanangana nezvisungo zvemumusangano, chazeyewa mumusangano, zvichibvumiranwa chozadzikiswa chichida kuti vanhu vabatane . . .hezvo chionai chidzidzo chiri kubva kuvana vedu nhasi,” says President Mugabe.
14:52- Iniwo ndinoti kwavari handina kana remuromo . . .(amid applause). . .rukudzo rwabva rwandidukupisa zvikuru. Asi Ndinoziva kuti nebasa randakaita, randinoramba ndichiedza kuita makaona mafambiro andakaita. Ndofunga makaona kuti pandakapinda mumusangano ndakambenge ndaenda kuGhana. Ndakambenge ndawanawo pfungwa dzekuti musangano wekuzvisunungura unorongwa sei. VekuGhana vakanga vazvirongawo sei.
Ndakanga ndafundawo zvakare kuti kana wapinda mumusangano unofanirwa kuzviisa pasi pehukuru hwemumusangano iwoyo. Vanenge vanzi ndivo vakuru vemusangano ndivo vaunofanira kutevera.”
14:59 – He says he was never found on the ambitious side of wanting to succeed the leadership that was in place.
He says when Ndabaningi Sithole had left, he was approached by the party and asked to take over, but he turned the offer down. however when it was confirmed that Sithole had gone for good, the party elders convinced him to come and lead the party with the support of the congress at home.
15:00 – “Takazodana vana Mnangagwa ava, vachibva kuchikoro…nana Sekeramayi ndokuvapa zvigaro zvakanga zviripowo. Ndiri kuda kukuburitsirai pachena kuti haisi tsika yedu yekugambira kuti ndive zvakati…kana kuenda kun’anga. Hatina musangano isu wataisarudzirwa nen’anga kuti uyu toda kuti azova chakati. Ngazvive sarudzo yevanhu . . .mumusangano toita congress dzedu, ndo panosarudzwa vanhu.
Zvese zvanga zvichiitika zvekuti kune faction yanhingi, zvitsva kwatiri. Zvinokanganisa musangano. Pawaiswa uri ipapo ndipapo…woita basa uri ipapo. Kwete kuda kupinga vamwe ndare. harisi bhora iri.
15:04 - He says factions ruin the party and members should be satisfied with their positions
15:07 - ”Dzimwe nguva unonzwa munhu ari mu province achiti izvi hazvingaitwe izvi ndisingade inini. Unenge uri ani unoti izvi hazvingaitwe izvi. Province inofanirwa kugara pasi kana iine zvaiinazvo, zvozeyewa neruzhinji.
15:12 - VaChitepo vaishanda variko uko, kuTanzania, tikavakumbira kuti vaite chairman we Party. Vabhanwa kuTanzania ikoko takavakumbira kuti chihuyai muite dare reChimurenga…vakauya.
Vakanga vasina kusunga vakaita sana Shamuyarira, ana Simpson Mtambanengwe nevamwe vose vakanga vari kunze vava Tongogara, vana Hamadziripi, vese naRugare Gumbo uyo, akazouya uyu achibva kuCanada kwaakanga aenda kunodzidza . . .vana Kangai vese…saka VaChitepo ndipo pavakavamba dare reChimurenga.
He says the party later gathered at a hotel in Highfield and said since Chitepo had died, Va Mugabe you should go and assume Chitepo’s duties. Others who were asked to accompany President Mugabe refused but the late Cde Edgar Tekere agreed and the two were accompanied by Chief Rekayi Tangwena to cross the border on their way to Tanzania through Mozambique.
15:13 - President Mugabe says it was a task they had been given by the party and they had to accept and execute it. He says they did not however proceed to Tanzania but ended up remaining in Mozambique as they joined colleagues from ZAPU…the likes of JZ Moyo and together worked together as they went for negotiations with the British.
He says this was after a word of advice from Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda . . .and the result is what persists today with Vice President Mphoko from PF-Zapu and Vice President Mnangagwa from Zanu to form Zanu-PF.
15:17 - President Mugabe switches to English for the benefit of those who do not understand Shona language.
15:19 - He says the youths met some “discouraging words even amongst us but they persisted” . . .but the Youth were determined and they had a plan. And today they have succeeded.
15:20 “The glory you are giving the President but the President says, it’s our glory together. A glorious day for the party, a glorious day for everyone. It’s a day you have organized well…a day which the Lord has made a glorious act. We thank the Lord . . .
15:24 – He says his biggest message is that of unity among all tribes. Be it the Kalangas, the Zezuru’s, the Ndebeles..all should be invited. The second is “Land to the people . . ”
15:26 – VaChipanga, you should remember that 20 years ago you were under baba naamai. So, you were part of the family. But as you say now you are mature people and you say you deserve to be your own landowners . .we will read the list of concerns you have written to us and will provide answers to most of them. But it may not be possible to provide each and everyone a piece of land . . .but every person at least should own a piece of land to at list build a home . . .” says President Mugabe.
Kana ndichiti munhu wese, hapana rusarudzo apa…hapana kuti uyu ndewe MDC, munhu wese weZimbabwe ngaawane pekugara.
He emphasises that is is however not possible for all to settle in Harare as people should also exploit opportunities in other smaller towns.
15:32 – Youths must acquire skills and they should be educated.
President Mugabe also says there are tertiary and training institutions where youths can acquire these skills.
15:33 – President Mugabe also touches on discipline: “However let there be discplined. Our Youths must be discplined….avoid violence.”
15:34 - President Mugabe also says one thing he insisted when the march was being organised was” no violence”
15:35 - He says Youths even outside the country have admired the Zanu-PF youth league, hence the march has attracted other youths to join the party.
15:37 – President Mugabe chides those fooling themselves saying they belong to certain factions emphasising that there is only Zanu-PF. He also encourages the War veterans to work within the party.
“There shall never be little groups to promote so and so…those little groups are treasonous groups. They spoil the party. There is only one Zanu-PF. Why don’t you bring your criticism to the party? Why go to newspapers . . .The Daily what? The Daily nonsense . . .you are just helping these little papers’ lifes . . .the stories . . .the First lady this and that . .Nonsense! The Party was never founded on other principles other than principles of unity, togetherness and harmony…not disharmony!”, says President Mugabe as he castigates the media particularly the Daily News for publishing falsehoods.
15:42 – President Mugabe has also castigated rumour-mongering encouraging the party to remain focused. He says those with concerns should put them across with humility than back-biting each other.
ECONOMY AND FOOD SECURITY
15:46 - He turns to the economy. ”Are we creating more jobs, employment? Are we succeeding in industrialisation, beneficiation? Those are the jobs we want.”
“For now, do we have the food to take our people to the next agricultural season? Hatidi kuti ava vari kumusangano we opposition saka hativape kudya. Where do you want them to get the food?
Yes, tinotsutsumwa hedu kuti kana vaguta matumbu voti denouncer futi . . .requesting imperialists to impose more sanctions on us. Anyway, that is how our opposition behaves. It’s quite peculiar. I wonder what ideas to improve the country they have,” says President Mugabe.
15:49 - On the misplaced calls for him to step down President Mugabe says it is for the people of Zimbabwe to decide, it’s for the ruling party to decide. Is the MDC sympathising with him as they call for him to quit? “Tiri tese . . .if the people say go then I’ll go. As long as I feel I can serve the people, I do . .but when the times comes I go . . .,” says President Mugabe to interjections from the crowd that he should continue and he laughs, “ah, hakuna kwandinoenda?”
He says the opposition was busy mobilising people that Mugabe must go,”ko ndinoenda kupiko,” he says to wild applause. ”VaMugabe says no, you go hang, hang yourselves,” he says.
UNITY AND DISCIPLINE
15:53 - President Mugabe says he will look into the concerns of the youth through party ideology.
He says unity should start in families and regions must be united including all tribes.
He also touches on discipline even in the workplace as he castigates corruption. He castigates greedy company executives who are busy looting from their employers.
Let the message go that on the 25th of May the Youth in Zanu-PF organized on that day a Million March which was a tremendous success. A tremendous success that should be recorded in the history of Zanu-PF and in the history of Zimbabwe. You have performed well . . .,” says President Mugabe as he wraps up his address thanking the Lord.
“Zvimwe zvi party ngazvifunde kana zvichida kufunda kuti kuno organizwa,” says President Mugabe. He leaves the podium with PC Cde Kasukuwere taking to the podium to thank His Excellency President Mugabe together with the people.
16:01- Kudzai Chipanga takes to the podium thanking the President, announcing that even a Vote of Thanks would dilute the rich speech delivered by the President. He invites the pastor to come and conduct the closing prayer . . .
The pastor gives a short sermon and closing prayer . . .
16:06 – We are now closing this blog. Thank you for being with us. Keep logged in for further discussion and analysis through the Disqus platform and other Zimpapers Social Media channels. More images from earlier activity will keep trickling in . . .