First-time voters set Mucheke Stadium alight Zanu PF youths attend President Mnangagwa’s meet the first-time voter rally at Mucheke Grounds in Masvingo yesterday

George Maponga in Masvingo

They sang, danced, whistled and ululated while others could be heard shouting the President’s totem, “Shumba Chikara’’ as first-time voters from all corners of the country exuberantly came together in acclamation for President Mnangagwa who met young voters, mostly born after the turn of the millennium, at Mucheke Stadium who will be casting their votes for the first time on August 23 this year.

The rendezvous of Mucheke Stadium open arena was chosen as the perfect setting for a much-anticipated date between President Mnangagwa and first-time voters who came in their thousands, the majority of them resplendent in ruling party regalia emblazoned with the face of a man now acclaimed for being the sole survivor of those who attended the inaugural Zanu Congress in Gwelo in 1964.

First-time voters from all the country’s 10 provinces thronged Masvingo’s oldest township of Mucheke which they turned into a scene of dancing and merry-making as they awaited the arrival of President Mnangagwa, who is Zanu PF’s Presidential candidate in this year’s harmonised elections.

Captivated by various empowerment programmes initiated by the Second Republic in spheres such as mining agriculture and tourism, the delirious band of first time voters some wearing bandanas and all sorts of ruling party regalia, set Mucheke alight for the whole day as they awaited their date with destiny.

Mucheke, had already willingly opened its bowels to accommodate the euphoric crowd that even residents in the dusty township named after the adjacent Mucheke River, walked to the open arena in droves starting from around 8am as Chief Shumba’s music bellowed from the humongous speakers.

On arrival at the venue of the everyone joined the queue to get food and a cold drink to step the stage for a memorable day at an event faultlessly organised by national chairperson for Young Women for ED, the effervescent Cde Tatenda Mavetera who is a Zanu PF Proportional Representation MP and the party’s parliamentary candidate for Chikomba West in the forthcoming elections.

President Mnangagwa arrived at the open arena accompanied by senior ruling party and government officials, among them Zanu PF Second Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi, party national commissar Cde Mike Bimha, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando and Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira.

Some brandishing miniature ruling party flags the crowd went wild as they sang, ululated and whistled. The veteran Zanu PF leader did not disappoint and returned the favour as he went around the arena saluting the crowd.

Cde Mavetera  has earned plaudits from the President for her organisational acumen and high work rate.

Besides President Mnangagwa, Vice President Mohadi took time to hail Cde Mavetera for the splendid job she is doing to shepherd the Young Women for ED into a formidable unit that is not only campaigning for President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF but is also opening the highway of women empowerment which resonates with the leaving of no one and no place behind.

In her address, Cde Mavetera paid homage to President Mnangagwa for exemplary and inspiring leadership which has engendered many affiliates including Young Women for ED which were all working for drum up support for the ruling party and its President and also initiating empowerment for their supporters.

First time voters remained cognisant of the country history whose independence was written by precious blood of the country’s sons and daughters. Things were moving really fast at Mucheke stadium open arena where those who attended were given a perfect send-off of mealie-meal from the President.

Speaking after the interface rally, Mr Josphat Shumba of Charumbira communal lands said he had learnt valuable lessons.

“I am so happy today(yesterday) because this interface rally has taught me many lessons especially the fact that we should always stick to Zanu PF as it is the party of our forefathers which spearheaded the country’s struggle for independence and is now promoting self reliance amongst Zimbabweans.’’

Mr Jacob Charumbira, a Masvingo resident from Rhodene suburb, said as a son of a freedom fighter the Zanu PF DNA ran in his blood.

“What happened today is pleasing because young people have been taught the importance of safeguarding the country’s independence and sovereignty. I am very happy that today’s rally was also themed on the need for Zimbabweans to work for themselves and develop their country,’’ said Mr Charumbira.

Ambuya Sofia Kakuva of Bhani resettlement area in Nemanwa who attended the interface said both the young and the old had been inspired by what the President said in his address.

“I don’t think there is someone who will remain behind when Zimbabweans go to vote on 23 August because what the President said was very inspiring.

“What the President is doing, building roads, dams and clinics all over the country needs to be applauded. His signature message that ‘Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo, Igonamatirwazve neVene Vayo’ is really inspiring and Zimbabweans need to take note of that when they vote in August,’’ said Ambuya Kakuva.

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