The Sunday Mail
Tendai Mugabe in MARONDERA
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday was charmed by the huge numbers of people who turned out for his star rally at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera where he paid tribute to Mashonaland East province for producing many national heroes who contributed immensely to the liberation of the country.
The Mashonaland East Zanu-PF provincial leadership resolved to hold the rally outside the main arena after foreseeing the anticipated huge crowds given that the province is one of the ruling party’s dependable strongholds.
The Rudhaka Stadium rally, which was the President’s second visit to Mashonaland East after his recent outing to Mutoko, drew a huge crowd in excess of 35 000 people.
Some of the people had to follow proceedings from trees and rooftops of nearby houses.
Welcoming the crowd, President Mnangagwa said the history of Zimbabwe would be incomplete without mentioning the contribution made by people from Mashonaland East during the liberation struggle.
“We have freedom fighters who led us during the liberation struggle who come from this province,” said President Mnangagwa.
“When we are writing the history of our country, it will be incomplete if we don’t mention names of some of the heroes who hailed from this province.
“We have the likes of George Nyandoro, he is from this province. He started the journey of the liberation struggle long back before some of you were born.
“We have the likes of Cde Parirenyatwa, not David (the Minister of Heath and Child Care), I am referring to his father (Samuel). We have Cde (Ernest) Kadungure, Cde Solomon Mujuru, Solomon Tawengwa, Chief Justice (Godfrey) Chidyausiku and others.
“There are many and I cannot mention them all. I encourage the province to be proud. We cannot talk about the history of Zimbabwe’s liberation without mentioning Mashonaland East.”
President Mnangagwa said given the huge turnout at Rudhaka Stadium, victory was certain for Zanu-PF.
Resounding victory for Zanu-PF was also reaffirmed by the party’s Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Joe Biggie Matiza who assured President Mnangagwa nothing less than 85 percent of the total vote in the province.
Said President Mnangagwa: “We have come here today. Kuno kuMashonaland East province ndakambouya kwaMutoko tikatambirwa chaizvo, chaizvo zvakandifadza. Asi nhasi matambiririro amaita aya, ndafara.
President Mnangagwa assured the province that it would soon have a State University just like other province.
He said his administration was working towards a devolving State where provinces should plan their economic programmes.
“One other thing that I want to share with you is that is the issue of devolution. Everything used to be done in Harare but now we are cascading down powers to provinces. Each province must have its own priority programmes.
‘‘You should say as Mashonaland East, what must we do with our agriculture, what must we do with our mining and what must we do with infrastructure development and what must we do with our industry?”