HARARE – The Zanu PF youth league has set May 25 as the date for the much-hyped and controversial “one million-man march” in Harare.
The party’s national deputy secretary for youth affairs Kudzai Chipanga claimed the march, which some war veterans have described as an anti-Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa demo, was meant to show their solidarity for President Robert Mugabe.
“The president will be the guest of honour at this event,” Chipanga told a press conference at the party’s headquarters yesterday.
“Reasons of the event being to reaffirm the youth league’s support and confirm our support to his excellency, the first secretary of Zanu PF and the executive president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde RG Mugabe, as our sole presidential candidate come 2018,” he gushed.
The nonagenarian has already confirmed that he will stand in the 2018 election, health permitting.
There had been attempts by war veterans aligned to Mnangagwa to sabotage the march, which they believed was aimed at the Midlands godfather and viewed to be a sly scheme by the party’s ambitious Young Turks, dubbed Generation 40 (G40).
“The date of the occasion will be scheduled on Africa Day, since he is also an African icon. The venue of the event is Robert Mugabe Square where we held our National People’s Congress in 2014 and resolved that the party shall have one centre of power which was vested in the president of party that is Cde RG Mugabe,” Chipanga said.
He said everyone, including war veterans who supported the youths’ position, were invited to the march.
“This is a youth-organised event but we are inviting everyone who supports the president to come and join hands with the youth league, just like we do annually on our 21st February Movement, to come voluntarily . . .
“Therefore, the youth league is inviting all comrades from all walks of life, Zanu PF main wing and women’s league, war vets, war collaborators, student bodies and churches to attend this historic event in their numbers.”
The youths from other provinces will however, have to fund themselves to attend the march.
“We have tasked all provinces to do self-funding. Every province is going to avail transport to and from Harare to its delegates. Every province will have its own assembly point and march from different directions to the main venue,” Chipanga said.
Zanu PF insiders who have previously spoken to the Daily News have said the march will be punctuated by anti-Mnangagwa slogans as well as placards denouncing his supposed key allies.