Tens of thousands are converged at Murombedzi Growth Point where Zanu-PF President and First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to address his first “Thank You Rally” after leading the ruling party to a resounding victory in the July 30 harmonised elections.
Other members of the presidium Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Zanu-PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Politburo, Central Committee members and other leaders are expected to attend the rally.
Zimpapers Digital covers LIVE this event. Stay logged in for updates.
Updates by Sydney Kawadza and Walter Nyamukondiwa; Images- Wilson Kakurira, Justin Mutenda
11:40 – President Mnangagwa has arrived for the first ever Thank You Rallies where he is expected to show his appreciation to Zanu PF supporters in Mashonaland West.
The province provided the swing vote in the July 30 Harmonized Elections when its result all but confirmed President Mnangagwa’s victory.
Among the people’s expectations are President Mnangagwa’s take on Zimbabwe’s economic trajectory. Vision 2030 anchored on the theme “Austerity for Prosperity” would be what the people here want to hear more about.
11:48 – President Mnangagwa has gone into briefing with the provincial leadership.
12:32 – Mashonaland West in the just ended elections delivered 18 out of 22 seats in the National Assembly and also gave President Mnangagwa 312 958 votes against MDC-Alliance’s Mr Nelson Chamisa’s 217 732 in the Presidential poll.
12:44 – Mashonaland West province together with Mashonaland Central have over the years formed Zanu-PF’s bedrock leading in mobilising and ensuring victory for the ruling party.
Meanwhile President Mnangagwa is still being briefed by the provincial leadership.
13:15 – The leadership emerges from the briefing and Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi proceeds to introduce the provincial leadership including members of the Central Committee, Politburo, War Veterans and War collaborators.
13:23 – Minister of State Mary Mliswa Chikoka comes to the podium to give her welcome remarks as she expresses gratitude to President Mnangagwa for choosing the province for this inaugural Thank You Rally. Minister Mliswa-Chikoka asserts the province is solidly behind the President.
13:25 – Cde Ziyambi comes back to address the gathering highlighting milestones reached in the 2018 Harmonised Elections which saw a Presidential candidate getting more than 310 000 votes since 1980.
13:27 – Cde Ziyambi says Mashonaland West province has resolved to ensure that the President gets more votes than the MPs. He also says more people voted for the President than before which shows the party is growing.
13:31 – Cde Ziyambi says focus has shifted to reaching out to the young voters ahead of 2023 when the next elections are due.
He concludes by saying the people rejected the elevation of individuals above the party, as Zanu-PF is bigger than individuals.
13:37 – National chairman Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri is now addressing the gathering before introducing Vice President Chiwenga.
13:45 – Independent Norton Legislator Temba Mliswa dons Zanu-PF regalia while chatting with Youth League leadership including Mashonaland West provincial chairman Vengai Musengi during President Mnangagwa’s Thank You rally at Murombedzi.
13;00 – VP Chiwenga rises to introduce President Mnangagwa as he describes him as a listening, action-oriented and transformative President.
14:08 – VP Chiwenga emphasizes the need for unity despite political affiliation. He says President Mnangagwa is a leader who believes in transparency; one who wants everyone to be responsible in everything they do from institutions to basic families.
14:10 – He says the opposition should be patriotic recognising that Zimbabwe comes first above all else.
14:11 – VP Chiwenga says the President needs accountability and will spell out plans by Zanu-PF and Government towards achieving Vision 2030.
14:12 – He also says there is need for accountability and knowing that resources need to be managed properly for current and future generations.
VP Chiwenga concludes the introductory remarks and invites President Mnangagwa to address the gathering
PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA’S ADDRESS
14:14 – President Mnangagwa rises to address the gathering while dancing to the new Thank You song, “Makaita Basa.” He chants the party slogan, “Pasi nemhanduuuuuu,” exhorting unity and focus to uplift the country.
We have come after being invited by Mashonaland West province as this day coincides with the birth of the Second Republic,| says President Mnangagwa.
14:16 – “This is our first meeting at national level after the July 30, 2018 Harmonised Elections.
14:17 – “The first shots of the Second Chimurenga were fired here in Mashonaland West province in Chinhoyi where seven gallant sons perished.
President Mnangagwa speaks on his predecessor, former President Mugabe
14:18 – “I want to thank the traditional leadership for giving us former President Mugabe . . .He is our founding father of a free Zimbabwe. Those who had other ideas should know that he is the founding father.
14:20 – “He led us in the war of liberation. We are now going forward with the revolution. Those who had surrounded the former President had no roots in the revolution.
14:22 – “Those who fail to walk the correct line of the revolution will fall by the wayside. We thank Chief Zvimba for giving us former President Mugabe. We are looking after him as our elder.
14:23 – “He is out of the country at the moment and we expect him back on November 30. We thank Mash West because it has shown that it is pure Zanu-PF.
Zanu-Pf is supreme . . . not individuals
14:24 – “The party is supreme, not any individual. Whatever position you are given, it belongs to Zanu-PF and you as an individual. The moment you feel you are bigger than the party, your demise follows.
14:26 – “I thank you sincerely for supporting the party and giving the party a resounding mandate. The party should work hard to retain the seats it lost in Mashonaland West.
Agriculture as a pillar of development
14:27 – “The rains are upon us, people are busy preparing for the agriculture season in the eight rural provinces.
14;29 – “Command Agriculture was the genesis of the country achieving food sufficiency. We now have food in our reserves.
14:30 – “There are many people who need food assistance in Mashonaland West. We have more than 1 million metric tonnes of maize in our reserves. No one should starve. So people should notify their leadership when they need food assistance.
14:32 – “Government has enough grain in reserve to feed the nation into 2019. Those being supported under Command Agriculture go through a vetting process to assess whether they complied with contractual provisions.
14:34 – “The Presidential Inputs scheme is open to everyone whether Zanu-PF or not . . .
Opposition should cherish national peace
14;35 – “The MDC Alliance should not take the new found political freedom as weakness on the part of Government.
14:36 – “The mischief by MDC Alliance is a sign of the freedoms but it should not be taken too far. They are being mischievous because their stomachs are full because of the product of interventions such as Command Agriculture and the Presidential Inputs Scheme. What we want is peace in the country
14; 39 – “There was violence in Harare on August 1 where several vehicles belonging to Zanu-PF and other property were destroyed. We preached peace in the run up to the election.
14:40 – “I would like to thank the people of Zimbabwe for showing that we can have a peaceful election. There was one bird that always parroted that if it did not win, there would be chaos.
14:42 – “What is the purpose of going for an election if the outcome is determined. We have more than two-thirds in Parliament and we can change laws. The late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was mature.
14:44 – “They refused to recognise the President during the budget presentation this week. Out-laws we say they must be ejected. I will continue going to Parliament and if they do not comply they will continue to be ejected . . .
Circumvention of sanctions
14:46 – “We are coming up interventions to circumvent the effects of sanctions. We are now producing more grain and tobacco than during Smith’s era. With our own resources we shall survive and we are surviving.
14:47 – “We are now saying Zimbabwe is open for Business and Engagement. We are tightening our belts to ensure that our economy grows.
14:49 – “The cost and ease of doing business must be addressed. I have a list of about 11 projects that need to be launched in the coming days as a result opening up Zimbabwe for business.
14-51 – “I met with a representative from General Electric and China Power with regard the Batoka Gorge project.
14:53 – “Let those who are coming from outside the country come, but we need to also play our part as Zimbabweans . . .
14:55 – “There is a land audit which has currently unearthed multiple farm ownership, especially by senior officials.
14:57 – “A new diamond policy is ready and will be presented to Cabinet next week before it is announced to the nation. We work as a team so I can not make pronouncements before the matter is discussed and agreed on in Cabinet,” says President Mnangagwa.
14:59 – “We knew that we had oil in the country but as disciplined people we remain quiet. We made announcements and those with spirits of poverty refused and attacked the discovery as wishful thinking.
15:01 – “Cooking oil producers are queuing for foreign currency at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe but if we grow enough soya-beans we can easily produce this in the country.
15:03– “In three or four seasons we should be self-sufficient in terms of soya-bean and other oil producing crops through using vast tracts of land in Kanyemba, Sabi and others under a focused programme.
15:05 – “We are disturbed by the rate of road traffic accidents on the country’s highways. Passengers should take a stand against reckless driving .
15:07 – “We passed a law that requires people to pay duty for vehicle imports using foreign currency this week. there are also going to be no more ghost workers in Government following the introduction of a bio-metric registration of civil servants.
15:09 – “Prices are going up left, right and centre. However, ee engaged producers at State House and they said they were reducing their prices. Retailers have persisted and we will deal with that by withdrawing operating licences to those who thrive on profiteering.
15:10 – “We are working on retooling industry to deal with cost of production which has a bearing on the price of goods. We have doubled the importation of fuel because people are stocking fuel in their houses. People risk starting fires that could lead to loss of life and property
15:11 – “We have enough fuel and financial capacity to meet fuel needs.
Zanu-Pf as the ruling party
15: 14 – “We are going for our Annual People’s Conference in Esigodhini and people in structures should attend.
“Zanu-Pf will ruthlessly deal with corruption. We want change that recognises that the party is supreme to government. We need to strengthen the party.
Forex demand by pharmaceutical companies
15:20 – “Pharmacies are demanding foreign currency and we sat down as Government to tell them that we are not happy.
15:21 – “They cannot demand foreign currency when they do not pay their salaries in the same currency . . .Nothing justifies that behaviour because they get foreign currency from RBZ. Failure to comply will result in operating licences being withdrawn.
15:24 – “Women’s league is organised and youths should wake up and reach out to the youths. War veterans I hear a lot from their quarters, they are trained cadres and they should follow proper procedures to air out grievances.
15:26 – “In Zanu-PF we want unity, discipline, productivity.
President Mnangagwa at this juncture concludes his address exhorting the party to unite and continue working hard for the growth of the economy.
This concludes this blog. Thank you for following, continue discussions on this event and the issues raised by the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa.