Zanu (PF) Plans World Cup Rallies

The party has already declared that it is ready for elections after a politburo meeting held on Wednesday in a growing sign that the coalition government partners have failed to find each other on outstanding issues that have stalled the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement agreed in September 2008.

A highly placed source told Radio VOP on Thursday that the Zanu (PF)’s idea revolves around a plan being hatched by the Ministry of Tourism
which plans to erect giant screens around the country which will be used to mobilise an audience for the party.

“The idea is to try and use the World Cup as a platform for campaigning for elections which are now highly likely to come next year,” said the source.

As part of the plan, Zanu (PF) will kick off its charm offensive next week on Wednesday when Brazil visit the country for an international
friendly match again organised by the Ministry of Tourism.

President Robert Mugabe is expected to meet the Brazilian national team at the State House and pose for photos with Brazilian football
Gods such as Kaka, Robinho and coach Dunga at the National Sports Stadium.

“It will be an attempt to rebrand President Mugabe because obviously the international media will follow the Brazilians and I can tell you
there will be as much as 20 journalists per single Brazilian player so you can see what a picture of President Mugabe posing with Kaka will
do to change his image,” said the source.

Thereafter, Mugabe and his two vice presidents, John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru will hit the road from June 11 until July 11, meeting and
addressing supporters at soccer matches at designated areas around the country.

The Minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi, has over the past year shuttling between Harare and Brazil trying to thrush out a deal which
would have seen the Samba Boys as Brazil is famously known visiting some of the country’s prime tourist areas such as Victoria Falls,
Kariba and Nyanga.

He managed to coerce the Brazilians to jet in for an international friendly soccer match.

About 60 big screens have already been secured, 44 of these from the Ministry of Tourism and 16 others coming from the corporate sector.
Most of the big screens will be part of the envisaged Fan parks which, will be scattered across the country especially at rural growth points.

The country’s political parties are already angling for an election.

At several rallies that Mugabe has been officiating since the beginning of the year, he has urged his supporters to prepare for elections. On the other hand Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party has been holding its star rallies in preparation for elections.

Job Sikhala who recently launched his own MDC 99 party has also backed the call for fresh elections.

But human rights groups and the larger civic society argue that the call for an election is premature. They say the country still needs
time to heal from the violence of the past, write a new constitution and reform state institutions.