Farirai Machivenyika and Nduduzo Tshuma in Beitbridge.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made an unscheduled address to thousands of Zanu-PF supporters gathered at Dulivhadzimu Stadium after commissioning the $241 million refurbishment and expansion of the Beitbridge Border Post.
Two weeks ago another huge crowd also gathered at the Colliery Stadium in Hwange waiting to be addressed after the President had officiated at the laying of the foundation stone for the $1, 5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project.
On that occasion the President, who has attracted huge crowds wherever he has gone, failed to address the crowd because of a tight schedule.
In his address yesterday, President Mnangagwa said he was overwhelmed by the huge turn out by Beitbridge residents especially when there was another rally in the district addressed by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
“I am happy by the high turnout here because I had not planned to address a rally today as you know Vice President Chiwenga had another rally nearby but when I heard about the huge turnout here, I said as a servant leader I can’t just go without coming here to greet and talk to you,” he said.
“I hope on July 30 you will turn out in your numbers to vote for your President, MPs and councillors.”
President Mnangagwa hailed Matabeleland South province for voting overwhelmingly for Zanu-PF in the 2013 elections when the party swept all 13 National Assembly seats, challenging them to repeat the same on July 30.
“The party is very strong in Matabeleland South, it is a pillar of the party and I urge you to remain like that,” he said to the cheering crowds.
“We have opened up democratic space in this country and there are many political parties, 133 of them so that the game becomes enjoyable but we don’t want any violence. Why should we be worried by these small parties with little following?”
The President said he was a servant leader who followed the aspirations of the people adding that all his lieutenants should also work to fulfil people’s needs.
“So from today you should know that all the leaders up front here are your servants. Any leader who doesn’t do that you should let me know and I will fire him or her. Leaders should know that they are servants of the people.
“Even I as President I am a servant so who should not be a servant if I am a servant of the people? We derive authority from you the people so you have power over us because you are the ones who bestow authority on us,” he said.
Turning to other issues the President said Government was working on the devolution of power so that provinces take an active role in their development.