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Zanu-PF supporters continue to idolise Mugabe

by Staff reporter
06 Oct 2016 at 06:58hrs | Views

IT is Saturday, September 24, as early as 10am and Harare International Airport is teeming with ruling Zanu-PF youths drawn from across the capital to welcome President Robert Mugabe from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.

Visibly drunk, most of the youths are dressed in cloths that have seen better days, a sign of the gnawing poverty ravaging the once "Jewel of Africa".

They mill around the high security area like farmers observing their tussling crop with pride.

Except for a few, whose pockets suggest to be well-nourished, the rest have poverty scribbled all over their bodies, their shoes a signature of the passage of time.

The mood is very electric, punctuated with the beating of drums by youths who have come to welcome their "dear leader" from an expeditious UN trip, where he did a "sterling job" and, therefore, deserved a resounding welcome, according to the party leadership.

Time passes by and, with it, their desire to see the Air Zimbabwe jet touch down and have Mugabe address them at the domestic terminal, where a tent has already been pitched and a sound system installed.

Outside, there are still long winding queues of supporters stampeding to get into the airport, where the homecoming rally awaits for 92-year-old leader after his punishing Venezuela and UN schedules.

Others seem to have taken the welcome rally as an opportunity to view Harare International Airport, their fascination at the landing and taking off of planes obviously very visible.

Just after midday, the excited Zanu-PF youths cheer a Kenyan Airways plane speeding on the runway for take-off.

The domestic terminal has been quite the whole day, with no plane landing or taking off.

"Hey, inomhanya wena (it can speed)," one of the youths says at the top of his voice.

While some are being charmed by planes landing and taking off at very irregular intervals at the international terminus, others continue with their dance routines to the party jingles, while a cluster of supporters dance as they sing Jah Prayzah's song, Mudhara Achauya, in anticipation of Mugabe's arrival.

Finally, Mugabe's plane touches down and soon, he is on the podium, ploughing into his usual historical rhetoric about the western powers and the formation of the Non-Allied Movement, which he attended in Venezuela en-route to New York.

He demonises the West and threatens to pull out of UN together with China, Russia, India and other Asian countries, if reforms to the organ to include more African states with veto powers are not done by next September when the UN General Assembly meets again.

"I don't know if we are going to come up with a common decision. There are other countries who are cowards. Africa is now led by new leaders who are no longer members of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity. It is now led by cowards only, without direction . . . It cannot only be Mr Mugabe who comes out calling for UN reforms," Mugabe roared.

"Britain, France and the US are resisting UN reforms. So we say the UN is strengthened by outside countries. They should not cry when we unite to form our own organisation with China, India, Russia and other countries and leave them alone."

Very few of his supporters seem to understand what Mugabe is saying, let alone its political and socio-economic implications to the country, but, as usual, simply because he is talking, there are wild cheers.

One could be forgiven to think that Mugabe abuses his supporters by saying things completely out of their reach, apart from making them wait for seven hours without food.

"I am now very hungry. We came here at around 10am. If they knew that the President was coming around 5pm, they should at least have asked us to come after mid-day," one supporter whispers.

A glance at the Zanu-PF supporters, a speech that promises them an end to poverty would have been welcome.

After his address, the supporters rush to leave in hired trucks parked outside the airport and there is litter everywhere.

Joice Mujuru's Zimbabwe People First spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire says the mere reason that Zanu-PF chooses the airport as a venue for its rally shows the extent to which they have destroyed the economy.

"If there is no activity on the domestic terminal the whole day, it means the economy is dead and buried. In other progressive countries, there is no room to have a rally at the airport because it will be busy throughout," he says.

Mawarire says Mugabe always punishes his supporters by focusing on history to a younger generation which still has a future to live.

"Mugabe is only worried when his power is under threat, that he has denied a future to Zimbabweans, including his own supporters. He doesn't care as long as he is in power.

Surely, how can an international airport, which should be an indicator of economic performance, be turned into a venue for political rallies? It is painful how he has taken the economy down."

Source - newsday
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