The Sunday News
Tinomuda Chakanyuka, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday challenged the Zanu-PF leadership in Bulawayo to up their game and work to reclaim Parliamentary seats in the province from the opposition MDC-T in next year’s harmonised elections.
President Mugabe, speaking at the Zanu-PF Bulawayo Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium, said the party should reclaim all seats that are still under the opposition. He said the Youth Interface Rally which attracted thousands of party supporters resembled a reawakening of the party in a province generally regarded as a stronghold of the opposition.
“Abadala balapha vukani. Get up and regard this as an obligation, obligation to get Bulawayo on top and not allow Tsvangirai naanaKhupe to be ahead of you,” he said.
“Let Bulawayo regard this as a reawakening. The meeting, this interface is a reawakening of Bulawayo, a new reawakening, a new reawakening and we shall not again be seen lacking in support of our party Zanu-PF,” he said.
The President added, “Ndasimuka pazuva ranhasi kuti muno muBulawayo tinzwe pfungwa dzemuno muBulawayo nekuti constituency dzemuno dzanga dzichihwinwa ne -opposition. Saka tauya takazvisimbaradza mupfungwa kuti zvatinoita nhasi zvipe mushandu kuvanhu nenhengo dzedu dzemuBulawayo. We want change, Bulawayo must change. Tinotenda, I’m glad that so many have come out. It’s the second city to Harare and we can’t afford to be losing it.”
President Mugabe said party leaders in the province should work their socks off to reassert the party’s dominance in Bulawayo and not allow the opposition to lead.
“We shall not allow the opposition to take the lead. No! That is a pledge we must make. If it means staying awake organising the people and sleeping only three, four hours, let’s do so. Let’s do so in the interest of our city in the interest of our people,” he said.
President Mugabe said leaders in the province should take a cue from Matabeleland North where the party has a stranglehold.
“ELupane they showed us that lesson. It was excellent there. But we know we’ve had problems here koBulawayo, but anyway those who came out were many. But it could have been better. It is a start,” he said.
The President also called on other provinces in Matabeleland region to work with Bulawayo in the party’s pursuit to re-establish its dominance in the metropolitan province.
“And those surrounding, Mat North, Mat South help Bulawayo. People from eMatojeni, people from Plumtree, Lower Gweru et cetera, you can spare some time to help Bulawayo to redeem itself,” he said.
Zanu-PF has six out of 12 National Assembly seats in Bulawayo. Some of the seats previously belonged to the opposition and the ruling party reclaimed them during by-elections. [email protected]