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Bussed Zanu-PF supporters enjoy domestic tourism

by Staff reporter
11 Aug 2023 at 06:44hrs | Views
AS the sun rises over the horizon, buses plastered with Zanu-PF insignia can be seen traversing the country, picking up supporters from different corners of Zimbabwe.

Dubbed the "Zanu Express" by Zanu-PF followers, the Zupco buses have become synonymous with adventure and exploration.

While the primary purpose of these buses is to transport supporters to rallies, they have inadvertently sparked a new form of local tourism.

Thousands of people from various provinces have been flocking to Zanu-PF rallies, not only as a show of solidarity but also to enjoy the perks that come with attending these events.

The rallies have become more than just a platform for political engagement; they have turned into a social gathering, complete with free transportation, sightseeing opportunities, and complimentary meals.

One of the key attractions of these rallies is the opportunity for attendees to explore different parts of the country.

As the buses make their way to the designated rally sites, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of Zimbabwe's diverse landscapes.

From the rolling mountains of Manicaland to the expansive greenbelts of Mashonaland Central, these journeys provide a unique chance for attendees to experience the beauty of their country.

"I never thought I would get the chance to see such stunning scenery. The bus ride to the rally was like a mini-tour, and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness the natural wonders of Zimbabwe," said Tendai Muparaganda, a peasant farmer from Hurungwe who attended the Harare rally on Wednesday.

Apart from the scenic routes, another drawcard for attendees are complimentary meals.

Zanu-PF rallies have gained a reputation for offering fried chips and chicken.

"I attended the rally not because I am a Zanu-PF supporter, but because I knew I would get a good meal.

"The food was delicious, and it was an added bonus to the whole experience," said Farai Chikomo, an artisanal miner from Midlands province.

While the provision of free transport, sightseeing opportunities, and complimentary meals undoubtedly adds to the appeal of attending Zanu-PF rallies, it is important to note that not all attendees are ardent supporters of the ruling party.

Many individuals attend these events to enjoy the benefits without necessarily aligning themselves with Zanu-PF's political ideology. Some attend the rallies out of fear of being labelled opposition.

For Nyemudzai, a flea market vendor in Marondera, the rallies have also provided her a chance for a long-awaited vacation.

"It's not about politics for me, it's about taking advantage of the opportunities presented. I appreciate the free transport and the chance to see different parts of our beautiful country. It's a win-win situation for me," she said.

Several young people said witnessing their favourite musicians perform after the rally had drawn them to the rallies.

The ruling Zanu-PF has been holding music galas after the rallies.

"I have never attended a live show in my life, let alone see some of the musicians performing live. I can't miss the opportunity for free," said Itai Munzwinzo who attended the Chipinge rally.

Witwatersrand University political scientist Romeo Chasara said the phenomenon of political local tourism, as witnessed at Zanu-PF rallies, highlights the complex relationship between political engagement and personal interests.

"It serves as a reminder that people can find enjoyment and value in unexpected places, irrespective of their political affiliations," he said.

As the "Zanu Express" continues to traverse the nation, bringing people together and offering unique experiences, it is clear that these rallies have become more than just political gatherings.

They have become a platform for Zimbabweans to explore their country, connect with fellow citizens, and savour the diverse flavours of their nation.

Tendai Moyo summed it up, when he said: "Attending these rallies has opened my eyes to the beauty of Zimbabwe, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than politics."

Source - newsday
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