INDEED Zanu-PF is a colossal party.
Mutema High School in the serene environs of Chipinge District in Manicaland was the venue.
To many people, the Mutema area of Chipinge is associated with the thriving irrigation scheme.
This is the land of horticulture produce almost all year round. Cheap tomatoes and onions are the most popular produce from the area.
In the spirit of leaving no one and no place behind, Mutema area of the Mutema/Musikavanhu constituency in Manicaland on Saturday found itself in the country’s history annals.
While launches of ruling parties’ election campaigns are associated with glitz and glamour, accompanied by blinding lights of urban settlements, the revolutionary ruling Zanu-PF, as usual lived to its billing as the people’s party.
With the country’s demographic data showing that about 67 percent of the Zimbabwe’s population stays in the rural areas, Zanu-PF decided to launch its campaign for the August 23 harmonised elections in the rural constituency of Mutema/Musikavanhu.
Friday, saw all roads from the length and breadth of Zimbabwe leading to Manicaland. All the major roads were bustling with the unusual heavy traffic volume.
Gaiety was all over as the revolutionary cadres made their way to Chipinge, the land of the ruling Zanu’s founding father, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.
The late Ndabaningi Sithole
Despite travelling in their multitudes, the revolutionary cadres exuded discipline.
Everywhere they made a stop-over along the way to Manicaland, they left a mark for the brand Zanu-PF as a disciplined party. Cadres proudly clad in the party’s regalia proved to be true ambassadors as they mingled freely with the generally citizens especially at food courts and watering halls.
Come Saturday, from as early as 5am, every turn in Mutare, Chipinge, Birchenough Bridge, Checheche, Rusape, Murambinda and surrounding areas you would bump on buses and private vehicles ferrying cadres to the historic launch. As one drove to Chipinge clear and visible signage were there for everyone to see.
Like the Biblical “wise men from the east” the people of Manicaland did not disappoint.
Like in the Bible, the Wise Men from the East followed the miraculous guiding star to Mutema to pay homage to the launch of the roller-coaster which will see the ruling party cementing its position as the people’s party come August 23.
Just like the Wise Men, the treasures of loyalty and unwavering support to Zanu-PF the people of Manicaland brought to President Mnangagwa were of significant value.
Loyalty is a gift that surpasses gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts worthy of a king.
Gold is symbolic of Christ’s deity as King, frankincense represents His purity as Priest of God, and myrrh is suggestive of His anointed work as a Prophet and of His death.
Zanu-PF cadres lived to this billing as the thousands that filled Mutema High School ground to the rafters, showed that the party is on a sound footing.
What made the day extra important was the befitting honour to the late national hero, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole.
Although his remains are interred at his Freedom Farm in Mt Selinda area of Chipinge, a historical error was rectified following his recent posthumous conferment of national hero’s status.
In his keynote address, President Mnangagwa was on point and said a historical error had now been rectified and it is time to jell and move forward as a united front.
“Reverend Sithole was the founding father of Zanu after its split from Zapu. He, together with other heroes like the late President Mugabe, Herbert Chitepo, William Ndangana and Josiah Magama Tongogara were the torch-bearers of the liberation struggle. Everywhere you go when you talk about the late Chief Rekayi Tangwena everyone knows about him and now the name of Reverend Sithole should always be associated with the history of the liberation struggle,” said President Mnangagwa.
In his honour a musical gala was yesterday held in Chipinge. Only the late Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo and Vice-President Muzenda have been the outstanding icons to have all-night musical pungwes held in their honour.
Surely, a dawn of the new era.
The people of Chipinge are equally excited about the development.
Cde Hlekani Chigona who once served as a councillor for Chipinge Rural District Ward 20 under Zanu Ndonga, said it is a welcome gesture by President Mnangagwa to accord Reverend Sithole national hero status. He said the move will correct the narrative of the liberation struggle.
“History of Zimbabwe will be incomplete without the mention of the late nationalist, Reverend Sithole. He contributed greatly to the liberation of this country through mobilisation of natives to fight in justices during the colonial era. He was also a distinguished scholar who wrote books which inspired Africans to rise up against the white minority.
“As Chipinge, we welcome this development by recognising Reverend Sithole and we hope this will enhance the healthy relationship between the Government and the Chipinge community,” said Cde Chigona.
Cde Hanyanisi Mlambo of Chibuwe area who also worked with Reverend Sithole after independence, said denying the national hero status to Reverend Sithole was a thorn in the flesh for the Chipinge community.
“The late Reverend Sithole was the founding Zanu member. There is no doubt that he is a national hero. We want to applaud President Mnangagwa for the according of the national hero’s status. This development shows respect to the legacy of this liberation war icon. We are looking forward to seeing positive working relationships for the benefit of our country,” said Cde Mlambo.
Now that the die has been cast, the Zanu-PF train is on a roll and victory is certain!!