The Sunday Mail
ELECTIONS have always been a numbers game. With this in mind, ZANU-PF seems to be taking this numbers game seriously. It started in earnest in Masvingo, then it moved to Gokwe and yesterday, Bindura made a bold and intimidating statement.
Seeing that the opposition is struggling in all aspects, ZANU-PF provinces have decided to compete among themselves in terms of drawing supporters to their rallies.
Both President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga have been on countrywide crusades to canvass support ahead of the July 30 plebiscite. The two have been charmed by the continuously swelling crowds.
The numbers have been both enchanting and jaw-dropping.
On Friday, VP Chiwenga ran out of words to describe how Gokwe — which is only a part of the Midlands province — managed to harvest a gargantuan crowd for the President’s rally.
There was speculation that the assassination attempt on President Mnangagwa at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on June 23 would slow down Zanu-PF’s juggernaut, and affect attendances at his rallies.
This has not been the case. In fact, the opposite is happening and it is happening at an alarming rate.
The Gokwe rally — the first by President Mnangagwa after the June 23 incident that claimed two lives — was instructive.
The rally attracted a bumper crowd that saw the Minister of Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Perence Shiri leaving early for his province so that he could start preparing for the Bindura rally.
“Congratulations Gokwe! Congratulations Gokwe District! You have done us proud,” VP Chiwenga said at Friday’s rally.
President Mnangagwa nodded in acknowledgement.
“You are just a district, but your sheer numbers speak volumes. Once again, I say congratulations! You give us joy that come July 30, it is ED Pfeeeee!”
And yesterday was no different in Bindura when President Mnangagwa addressed another mega crowd that filled Chipadze Stadium to the brim. Was it the Minister Shiri magic or the Kazembe Kazembe midas touch? It could only be a combination of all forces in the province.
Even Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Cde Kazembe Kazembe seemed to concede that “there was some numbers competition in Zanu-PF”.
“When the President arrives, we want you to use your great numbers to greet him with thunderous ululations and whistles, to show that we have surpassed Masvingo province,” he said to the members just before President Mnangagwa’s arrival.
“We want to show him that we have come only from Bindura and nearby areas, but we are many and had the whole province came, there was need to find another venue for us to fit in.
“We want to tell him that he should not confuse this gathering as a reflection of the whole province, but just a fraction of the province.”
And when President Mnangagwa arrived at the venue, the attendant noise and cheer was deafening.
As Jah Prayzah’s song “Kutonga Kwaro” enveloped the venue, it was a cue that the President had arrived. Evidently he could not hide the effect the massive crowd had on him. As usual, he broke into his signature dance. There is something about that dance that sends ZANU-PF supporters into a frenzy.
“I have told your chairperson Kazembe Kazembe that I see your days being extended, but if I have praised him, he should not credit himself alone but all those that have assisted him to organise this rally which has drawn such huge numbers,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I am happy, I have been here on other engagements, but today I am here on an assignment that has to do with elections. I am happy with your numbers.
“Ndafara, ndikafara, ndichangoramba ndichingofara, ndigofara, ndichingofara, hoping that as you see me you will continue being happy and that we will be happy together as we move in Zanu-PF.
“I am saying to comrades of Mashonaland Central, victory is certain, victory is certain. Here we are just following what the Bible says that there is time to sow and time to reap, there is time to mourn and time to celebrate.
“Now we are in the period of harvesting and we want to harvest on July 30 so that we safeguard our heritage as Zanu-PF and let not that heritage be harvested by those that are not Zanu-PF.”
This is turning out to be a ZANU-PF game. The opposition is being forced to watch from the sidelines. Can’t wait for the next rally.