Although top provincial executive party members were informed that the octogenarian leader was no longer able to make up for the intended star rally due to ill health, some overzealous youth from different parts of district had woken up early in the morning forcing people to go to Mucheke stadium.
“Why did he promise in the first place? We are greatly disappointed by what these guys did. Instead of notifying us to stop calling people to the stadium, they just ignored us. We woke up early to mobilise people to go to the stadium as per instruction only to find out that Mugabe was no longer coming.
“Up to now we don’t know why the meeting was cancelled but it is us whom they use when they want to have people in the stadium. If they still need our support, then they must think twice and never repeat this blunder,” said one of the youths identified as Achiford Toperesu.
“Why were we rehearsing when they knew he (Mugabe) was not coming? We are not fools, they must not waste our time,” said another youth.
A RadioVOP correspondent saw hundreds of Zanu (PF) women’s league members who had gone to Mucheke stadium returning home after discovering that the gates at the stadium were locked. The women complained that their time ‘was wasted’.
Masvingo Zanu PF provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke said true Zanu (PF) cadres were aware that Mugabe was no longer coming.
“There was no confusion as you might think, our true cadres got the word yesterday (Wednesday afternoon) I don’t know why you say some youth were complaining,” said Matuke.
Mugabe, one of the continent’s longest serving leaders, turns 87 on February 21. He was supposed to launch the anti sanctions petition to be signed by over 2 million party supporters.
“Acting president John Nkomo was said to be the one coming, but intelligence sources said the anti-sanctions petition launch was proved to be a task too big for him,” a senior government official told Radio VOP.