By Everson Mushava
Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said the poor turnout at the government-organised anti-sanctions march last Friday served to confirm President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF’s fast shrinking support base.
Mnangagwa, buoyed by solidarity messages from other Sadc leaders, led a national march against the Western-imposed sanctions in Harare on Friday, declaring the day a public holiday to enable Zimbabweans to attend in large numbers.
The ruling party youths had pledged to mobilise at least 50 000 people for the main event at the giant 60 000-seater National Sports Stadium (NSS) in Harare, but only about 7 000 — mostly State security agents and students attended.
This is despite the provision of government-sourced free transport, food, T-shirts, a soccer match and an all-night musical extravaganza after Mnangagwa had addressed a near empty stadium.
“There was a big sign in the stadium,” Chamisa said, referring to the poor attendance.
“If Mnangagwa is choosing to ignore this sign, he will be victim, like the biblical Pharaoh.”
According to the book of Exodus, Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, refused to set the Israelites free to go and worship their own God, even after 10 plagues, representing God’s power over the Egyptian gods, were inflicted on Egypt.
Chamisa added: “He (Mnangagwa) can come with Sadc to roll out a false war, but the message was huge and only an ignorant and arrogant leader can ignore that. But, I know him; wisdom is not his regular visitor due to arrogance and ignorance and arrogance are twins.”
The low attendance at the anti-sanctions march created a butt of jokes and ridicule of Mnangagwa, with social media platforms buzzing with people questioning how the Zanu PF leader won the 2018 presidential poll.
But Information deputy minister Energy Mutodi denied reports that the march was a flop.
“It was not a flop. Zimbabwe, Sadc and the whole African Union sent a clear message that the sanctions are unfair, unjustified and an unwarranted interference in our affairs by the West,” Mutodi said.
“We are a sovereign country; we deserve to be treated equally irrespective of the colour of our skin. We are black people, we will never be whites. What belongs to us we have taken and that is the land of our ancestors, the real reason we went to the liberation struggle.”
He added: “We have no regrets about that. Chamisa is a worshipper of whites. He believes whites are superior to blacks and he wants them to take over our inheritance. We say no to that.”
Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent) said the glaring poor attendance at the anti-sanctions march further exposed Zanu PF leaders’ poor mass mobilisation skills.
“My advice is to use Gwanzura Stadium and Rufaro Stadium for the next national events, the NSS exposes the truth about the leadership of Zanu PF, out of touch with the masses as none of them have been elected into office,” Mliswa tweeted at the weekend.
He added: “The ‘no show’ by the masses is a clear message to the President that the masses do not believe in the provincial leadership simply because the masses never voted for the provincial leaders. (Zanu PF national commissar Victor) Matemadanda must take heed and dissolve the provincial structures.
“The focus on Zanu PF is purely on the basis that Zanu PF is the ruling party. It is up to them to deliver on their manifesto. With all the money and food invested, there was poor attendance for the March.” NewsDay