Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
10:30 The First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has arrived in Gwanda for her Matabeleland South Thank You Rally to be held at Pelandaba Stadium. She is now in a briefing with senior Zanu PF officials at the Provincial Administrator’s Offices.
11:28 Amai Mugabe is now in a briefing with Mat South Women’s League provincial leadership. She is accompanied by Cde Oppah Muchinguri, Dr Olivia Muchena, Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo and Cde Edna Madzongwe.
11:32 Secretary for Legal Affairs Zanu PF Women’s League, Cde Abigail Damasane now introducing National Executive and Provincial Leaders.
11:37 Mat South Women’s League provincial chairperson, Cde Alice Dube now addressing the meeting.
12:30 The First Lady Amai Mugabe has arrived at Pelandaba Stadium and is given a rapturous welcome by approximately 100 000 supporters.
12:40 Cde Phillip Chiyangwa, Prof Jonathan Moyo, Cde Patrick Zhuwawo, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, Cde Phekezela Mphoko, Cde Temba Mliswa among the cast at Pelandaba Stadium.
12:45 Cde Damasane introducing the National Executive to the crowd.
12:50 Cde Obert Mpofu, Cde Kembo Mohadi, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, Cde Kindness Paradza, Cde Abednigo Ncube, Cde Thabetha Kanengoni-Malinga, and Cde Andrew Langa are also in attendance.
12:53 Matabeleland South Provincial Minister of State, Cde Ncube now addressing the crowd. He commends the First Lady for championing projects that empower the girl child.
13:04 Mat South Women’s League chair, cde Dube says Matabeleland South women are fully behind Amai Mugabe’s elevation. She commends the First Lady for raising Bona (first born daughter) to be a principled and disciplined child who marries and weds adding that Amai Mugabe is leading by example by taking care of orphans.
13:12 “Women need to be supported in order to effectively participate in mining and also need support in order to venture into livestock production as well as more land for income generating projects,” says Cde Dube.
13:20 A traditional Drance group from Sibiwa Primary is entertaining the crowd now.
13:35 Cde Muchinguri takes to the podium and commends the people of Matabeleland South for turning up in their numbers to show their solidarity with Amai Mugabe.
13:37 She describes the First lady as a super sonic woman who does not waste time in addressing issues and adds that Amai Mugabe is not a selfish leader.
13:39 Cde Muchinguri ends her address by urging women to support their husbands.
13:41 The crowd breaks into song singing Musaputse Sangano as Amai Mugabe prepares to take to the podium and she gets a thunderous applause as she stands up.
13:43 Amai Mugabe welcomes Zanu PF National Chairman, Cde S.K Moyo for joining her on her 6th rally and commends the people of Mat south for voting for Zanu PF in last year’s (2013) harmonised elections.
13:46 She says, “I am visiting the provinces to meet the people because people only know the president very well. I need to meet you so that we know each other.”
13:49 The First Lady has urged people ‘not to forget where we are coming from’ and says leaders promise people a lot of things when they are campaigning and disappear after elections.
13:52 Amai Mugabe says labour migration to South Africa is threatening family institution.
13:57 Amai Mugabe denounces factionalism in the party and says it affects development. She also denounces lazy leaders and says government should support mining and livestock production.
14:03 The First Lady says the level of domestic violence is alarming, much to the delight of the crowd. She also denounces those who are not productive in the resettlement areas and says, ‘land resource is running out. Let us be productive. The population and demand for the land is growing. Our brothers and sisters went to war because of the land issue. Land is a contentious issue. Our problems started at the inception of land reform.’
14:10 She castigated the American and European media for being used to discredit the country’s economic empowerment programs saying, ‘EU uses intimidating tactics to scare other African countries planning to redistribute their land.’
14:15 The First Lady says she is not moved by the travel ban to Europe that came as a result of the land reform.
14:18 She says women need to be supported on irrigation especially in areas with a lot of dams like Mat South, much to the delight of the crowd. She also castigated polygamous men saying they have no respect for women.
14:25 Amai Mugabe has denounced men who are saying Mugabe must go when they are actually older than him adding that people should wait for their time to lead than pushing their selfish agendas.
14:30 She said it is worrying that there are senior citizens in the party who go about impregnating young girl adding that society needs to work hard in restoring morals.
14:36 Amai Mugabe says education without wisdom is useless adding that there are leaders in Zanu PF who are educated but lack wisdom. ‘It is embarrassing that people are conducting party business in the media.’
14:38 “We want hardworking people. Not people who want to be Vice Presidents and become a liability to President Mugabe and Zimbabweans. Let us stop vote buying and leading youths astray. Now we have five people saying they want to be Vice Presidents. Dzikamai!”
14:44 The First Lady described factional fighting in Zanu PF as part of regime change being sponsored by the West who are using greedy and corrupt Zanu PF politicians. She said the West has been denouncing Look East policy yet they are rushing there with begging bowls.
14:51 She took a swipe at those fingered in salary gate and described them as heartless. She also encouraged Zimbabweans to pray to God for a leader who will come after President Mugabe and who will have people at heart and also be prepared to stand for them through thick and thin.
14:54 Amai Mugabe wrapped up her speech by saying Zimbabwe needs a leader like President Mugabe and donated 10 tonnes of maize seed and 10 tonnes of mealie meal to the people of Mat South.