Felex Share Senior Reporter—
All roads lead to Matabeleland South Province today for the sixth Presidential Youth Interface Rally expected to light up sleepy Gwanda town. Another bumper crowd, as witnessed in other provinces, is expected to throng Phelandaba Stadium as zanu-pf heightens its preparations for next year’s harmonised elections. President Mugabe is touring provinces countrywide, interfacing with youths at the invitation of the revolutionary party’s Youth League.
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The President has so far been to Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West provinces.
All the rallies have drawn huge crowds with an estimated 60 000 people attending the Mashonaland West event two weeks ago.
zanu-pf Youth League members breathed life into Gwanda yesterday when they held a clean-up campaign and a carnival as a precursor to today’s event.
zanu-pf Youth League secretary Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga yesterday said Gwanda was ready to roar.
“Preparations have gone well and we are only waiting for the President to come,” he said.
“There is a lot of excitement in the province and the usually sleepy Gwanda town has been awakened.
“Shops are expected to record brisk business as we began today with a carnival and clean-up campaign. Our delegates have started arriving, especially those coming from districts that are far away. We are ready for action.”
Cde Chipanga expressed gratitude to senior party members for guiding them in the organisation of the rallies.
“We have received maximum cooperation from the party leadership both in the province and headquarters level,” he said. “We have experienced a few challenges because of this massive support.”
Matabeleland South province is expected to mobilise 35 000 people for the event.
The province youth’s chairperson Cde Dingumuzi Phuti said: “We are already in celebratory mood which we began with a successful clean-up campaign. We have also held an eventful carnival and tomorrow (today) we promise fireworks.
“The people of Gwanda have never been this happy and it is our hope that tomorrow everything will sail through without any hitches. We have done our part with regards to mobilisation of people and we expect a huge crowd from our 168 party districts.”
zanu-pf controls Matabeleland South province, having won all the 13 seats in the 2013 harmonised elections.
Some of the seats reclaimed in 2013 had been in the hands of MDC since 2000.
zanu-pf is also using the youth interface rallies to urge its members to register for harmonised elections slated for next year.
The engagements are expected to run until October when President Mugabe would have visited all the country’s 10 provinces.