Lupane pin hope on ED

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THERE is a question that mainly those in the opposition have been asking about ZANU PF’s hugely successful rallies in the run-up to the July 30 2018 harmonised elections.
This is a question that has been responded to and the Lupane rally, held last week, duly removed any lingering doubts about ZANU PF’s mobilisation capability.
As this reporter descended on Somhlolo Stadium in Matabeleland North, there was anticipation to latch onto something that would answer this question since the Presidential rallies began in May this year.
Contrary to the belief and misconception that ZANU PF has been busing or forcing people to attend its rallies, the opposite is true.
The excitement was palpable.
It was visible from the moment one stepped into the venue of the rally.
It was a fete of a party that is on the cusp of retaining power and not even the chilly weather daunted the supporters from endorsing the party they have formed a formidable, unbreakable pact with.
For Christina Ndhlovu from Cross Mabale, it was about finding the right place to sit so as to have a clear view of President Mnangagwa.
“I want to see him because he is the one I have come to see and it will not help me in any way if I go back without seeing him,” she said.
Asked what she wanted him to do for her, Ndhlovu said: “I have worked hard selling tomatoes so that all my children go to school, it is time all that pays off.
“It is disheartening to have me still buying washing soap for my now old children who are married and are still living under my roof because they have failed to find jobs.
“I want them to work so that they can look after me for all the years I put in getting them to school.”
For Ntombizodwa Dube from Bubi, braving the 3am cold was worth it.
“This man has given us hope,” she said.
“Since he visited the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and bridge which had taken years to complete, there has been movement on the ground and it is almost complete.
“This has given us hope because we think if he can do this much when he is just holding the reins from the former President, what more can he do after July 30?
“You can tell that he has his people at heart.”
Nothando Dube from Lupane said President Mnangagwa must deliver jobs, especially to the youths.
“It is hard to see that our children, even when they have finished school, have no jobs,” she said.
“Once he is elected into power, President Mnangagwa must make sure that the industries are thriving so that our children get jobs.”
For the old man, Solomon Dube, from Feya District, the improvement of his life and that of his age mates should be the task of President Mnangagwa while for the young man, Edwin Ncube, a gold panner, it is about a getting proper job.
Said Ncube: “I never went beyond Grade Three and resorted to gold panning.
“I am currently unemployed because the area I work in is flooded, so I have no place to go at the moment and have no money to go back to my village in Gwanda.
“Once this man (President Mnangagwa) is elected, I want a proper job which assures me of a constant income which I can use to help my mother who looked after me.”
President Mnangagwa’s speech did not fall far from the hopes and wishes of these people.
He assured them of that which they are longing for and commended the region’s leadership for playing an instrumental role in his ascendancy to power.
Said President Mnangagwa: “This is a new Zimbabwe, a new era and new dawn for our country.
“Zimbabwe is open for business and we want to grow our economy and our country.
“We want to mordenise our country so that the people have a better life.
“No one will do it except for us.
“We want to find jobs in agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing, rail, road, ICT, housing, energy and water.
“We must plan sector-by-sector on how we go forward so that our people can get decent jobs from the new factories created.
“We have opened mines, among them Eureka, Shabanie and Hwange mines, zvirikungomuka, mabasa achingomuka.
“By 2030, Zimbabwe should be a middle-income economy.
“Each province must grow its own province.
“Devolution of central power to the provinces will make sure that each province grows because there is no province without resources.
“If we give power to the provinces, they will grow themselves because they know what they want.”
President Mnangagwa highlighted Matabeleland North’s rich resources and showed how these can turn around the country’s fortunes when he said: “Matabeleland North has coal, coal-bed methane, tin, copper, nickel, gold, tantalite and diamonds.
“With coal-bed methane, we will produce fertiliser for the country and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
“We will even make fuel out of it.
“For all this to happen, we need electricity and Hwange, in two years, will produce 600MW which will be added to the national grid.
“We want our universities to produce graduates who fit into our economy so that we can leap-frog our economy and catch up if not overtake other countries.
“To do this, we have to attract global skills and technology into Zimbabwe and this must be done with people knowing that their capital is safe with us.”
President Mnangagwa urged the electorate to be accommodative and tolerant of other opposition parties.
Peace, he said, must be the hallmark of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, he said, must have honest and hardworking people.
Said President Mnangagwa: “Those with talent should have millions through hard work and honesty and there should be no room for jealousy.
“The foreign election observers are in our country and should feel welcome and know that we are hospitable and humble.
“They will leave and go back to their countries knowing that we are ZANU PF, a big party.
“Let us leave the small parties and when they pass through our homes, let us cook sadza for them and let them go on.
“Let them continue with their demos but they need to know that demos don’t vote.
“When we are in power, they will enjoy our rule.”

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