ED Dates Cowdray Park
2 August 2023
Spread the love

By A Correspondent- All roads lead to Bulawayo today where President Mnangagwa will address a star rally in Cowdray Park suburb to drum up support for the ruling party Zanu- PF ahead of the harmonised general elections later this month.

The venue for the star rally near Mkhithika Primary School was a hive of activity from yesterday morning as the party’s advance teams were busy pitching tents, setting up the sound system, mobile ablution facilities, security and ushering settings, among other final touches in preparation for the arrival of the national leadership.

The revolutionary party is poised to reclaim its ground in the City of Kings where it has endeared itself with the masses through the implementation of transformative signature development projects under the Second Republic including revitalising the manufacturing sector to retain and create more job opportunities for locals.

President Mnangagwa’s star rally is expected to showcase the milestone developments achieved by the Second Republic in Bulawayo in the last five years. The city had 163 completed signature projects out of 230 as of December 2022.

In line with President Mnangagwa’s drive to ensure equitable development across the country, Bulawayo has in the last five years received increased Government attention and benefited more from different policy support measures.

These include enhanced industrialisation support, research and development strides, key infrastructure development as well as interventions on pressing service delivery issues. With a head start on three parliamentary constituencies following the nullification by the High Court of nomination for 12 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates, Zanu-PF is set to wrestle Bulawayo from the opposition.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube (Cowdray Park constituency), Cde Tendai Charuka (Bulawayo Central) and Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Cde Raj Modi (Bulawayo South) are uncontested as their challengers were only from the CCC party.

Zanu-PF political commissar, Dr Mike Bimha, who was already on the ground yesterday, said it was all systems go and hinted that they expected a crowd of close to 100 000. He said the party was more than convinced that today’s rally will be massive, sending a clear message to the opposition and its surrogates that their time was up.

“We believe that we will have great numbers, we have been to Matebeleland South and Matebeleland North but we expect Bulawayo province to be better than the two. So, I am expecting something like 80 000 maybe 90 000 people and we want to believe that all our affiliates from the Southern Region would be part of us,” said Cde Bimha.

“We have a planning committee at Zanu-PF headquarters that meets regularly to plan for the next rally but we also have provincial rally committees, which also meet to plan in terms of logistics.

“A day before such a rally, the national and respective provincial committee meet to compare notes in order to ensure a smooth sailing event.”
Cde Bimha said the opposition CCC blunders have become a blessing in disguise for Zanu-PF, as it has secured three seats, including the host constituency, uncontested but said that does not mean that the party will relax.

“It’s a good omen to come to a place where there is no competition but at the same time we can’t sit on our laurels, we want to make sure that it’s the numbers that count,” he said.

“We have already won this election in any event but what we want now is by how much will the victory margin be. We want our people to go out there and vote for the President.

“The thrust of the President’s campaign is not about what we promised you but what we have already done and these are things that people can see and if these things have been done, it only tells you that there are more things to be done,” said Dr Bimha.

Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson, Cde Jabulani Sibanda, slammed the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC for playing the victim over the nullification of the nomination of its candidates saying the party leadership’s failures were to blame.

Mkhithika Primary School the venue of the Presidential Star Rally

“When we went to war, we fought for universal suffrage, the right to vote because we were governed by the laws that we never participated in making. And now the laws that we have were created by our Parliament and those laws tell us how to go for elections, that a day of submission is not a day of completing forms,” said Cde Sibanda.

“That is why things are done on time. Any party or member that fails to abide by the rules should not expect to participate in elections,” he added.

Cde Sibanda said today’s star rally would demonstrate President Mnangagwa’s popularity through the massive turnout by Bulawayo residents. He urged residents to attend in their large numbers and show that the city has not lost its revolutionary direction.

“We want the President to see that Bulawayo has not lost the direction, it’s still moving on the revolutionary path, which is tested most of the time because of the animosity that we get from those that colonised us,” he said.

“Today, they do not only need our land or resources but they are eager to inflict damage to the minds of our kids by allowing homosexuality practices we don’t practice in Africa.

“We want to mobilise our people so that they show the President that we are still keen to maintain our culture as God created us.”

Among the top projects that have been completed in Bulawayo is the construction of the US$17 million Bulawayo Students’ accommodation complex near the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) through the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), which is now awaiting commissioning.

The facility has a capacity to accommodate 1 032 students and will go a long way towards addressing the shortage of accommodation at the giant institution with a ratio of 60 percent for the girl child who is more vulnerable to abuse and 40 percent for the boy child.

The Government has also facilitated the rehabilitation of key health institutions such as Thorngrove Hospital and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Ekusileni Medical Centre and Bartley Memorial Block at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

The reconstruction of Mpilo doctors’ flats that were razed down by fire is also one of the key milestones alongside the establishment of the Obstetric Fistula Clinic and Orthopedic units.

As part of efforts to enhance development, the Second Republic has also established six Innovation Hubs at six state universities including Nust to proffer home-based solutions to industrial needs and drive the economic revival.

The Nust Innovation Hub is fully operational and is conducting DNA tests at reduced costs among other strides.

At UBH, a state-of-the-art laboratory was recently completed and is awaiting commissioning. The laboratory, which will have 37 scientists is one of the largest laboratories in the country and will eliminate the need to outsource some services for the hospital.

The facility has 52 rooms and has special call rooms for on-duty specialists.
It will house departments such as haematology, biochemistry and immunology and render services that are not available at the hospital at the moment including the blood blank and a histology unit.