By Elizabeth Sitotombe
THERE was a sense of something enigmatic in the air.
It was a sight to behold — seeing so many comrades in one place, speaking the same language, wearing their party regalia while oozing the revolutionary spirit.
It was contagious.
People were hooting their cars in respectful salutation as they made their way to the venue.
Unity, loyalty, and dedication were all in the atmosphere, and as early as 6am people had started trekking to Mutema Primary School.
And when President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived, the crowd went wild.
It was electric!
All roads were leading to Chipinge, where the ruling Party launched its August 23 2023 general elections campaign, its manifesto in the rural constituency of Mutema in Chipinge, Manicaland Province, last week.
Indeed the Second Republic is leaving no-one and no place behind. The locals could not believe the event was happening in their village.
Despite the launch taking place far from all the city glamour, there was a bumper crowd.
What became obvious is that Zimbabweans have made their decision. The upcoming polls will only serve to formalise what is already projected on the ground — that is victory for ZANU PF.
There is a reason why they call President Mnangagwa the ‘game changer’; the multitudes at the venue were testament to this.
Clearly he is the favourite on the line-up of presidential candidates.
The security team was hard-pressed to control the crowds who clamoured to see their President. And yet some members of the opposition claimed the people in Chipinge were CCC members who simply went to blend in; the mango strategy they call it.
And the crowds could be heard screaming: “Muri huchi baba!”
Ahead of the launch President Mnangagwa commissioned an ambulance and hospital equipment at St Peter’s Mission Hospital in Checheche, Chipinge.
Chipinge also holds historical significance as the birthplace of one of ZANU’s founding fathers, Reverend Ndabaningi Chakandiwana Sithole. The late hero died on December 20 2000 at the age of 80. He contributed immensely to the liberation struggle and was posthumously conferred national hero status.
A musical gala was held in his honour the same night.
In his speech, His Excellency paid homage to the party’s revolutionaries, and then went on to outline the development made by the Second Republic. The country has witnessed tremendous headway where the implementation of developmental projects is concerned and His Excellency took time to chronicle the achievements made by the Second Republic.
The mining sector has grown significantly since 2018. The sector generated about US$3,7 billion in revenue. By 2023, the figure has since grown to a massive US$12 billion, marking a 200 percent increase in a period of five years.
Zimbabwe has attained food self-sufficiency through Pfumvudza/Intwasa Programme and smart agriculture, among others.
“We are currently giving free inputs to three million households, which include seed, fertilisers and chemicals. We also have large scale farmers who we give loans to. For the past three years, we have been food secure and the grain that we have is enough for everyone. From now on we know that this country will never again be food insecure.”
The agriculture sector is now valued at US$8 billion from US$3,8 billion.
Electricity shortages have since been resolved, after Hwange Units 7 and 8 were fixed. The country is generating over 600MW and plans are to build more power stations.
The Government has set a target to generate a total of 1 500 megawatts of power by 2025.
220 houses were constructed for Government workers as part of the US$300 million Beitbridge Border modernisation programme, bringing much needed relief to all workers who had been facing accommodation woes in the past years.
The Second Republic is driving the ongoing programme of drilling 35 000 solar powered boreholes. To mitigate climate change, 12 major dams have been constructed, including other small dams, such as Muchekeranwa, Chivhu and Shangani.
The dams have irrigation infrastructure systems.
Under the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme new roads are being constructed while old roads are being rehabilitated. The Masvingo-Harare Road and the Harare/Beitbridge Road are there for all to see.
While ZANU PF held their historic launch, across the border, in South Africa, Chamisa held his own rally.
It was a flop. Not only was it poorly attended but highly unnecessary.
Word on the street is he was running away from scores of unhappy supporters in Zimbabwe after he imposed candidates of his choice.
The lack of transparency in the CCC candidate selection process and confusion that followed thereafter left a lot to be desired.
The supporters claimed the candidates presented were not of their choice but Chamisa’s.
“This is nonsense,” cried one supporter.
“Ostallos Siziba was on number three yet he qualified as a candidate.It was about who knows who and who you are aligned to, simple.”
What the CCC supporters chose to ignore time and time again is that the party itself is not for the people but a Western project.
Even other countries across the region have come to that sad conclusion. At the ANC 9th Provincial Conference, the secretary-general of the ANC noted that the US will never be satisfied with Zimbabwe till they get their puppet, Chamisa, in power.
He noted that the sanctions in Zimbabwe had a ripple effect and were affecting other countries in the region, including South Africa.
They are hell bent on making life for Zimbabweans difficult by sabotaging the economy and repeatedly calling for sanctions.