ZANU PF held a large campaign rally in Chinorumba High School in Zaka on Sunday. The party claimed that 124,000 people attended the rally, though the figure could not be independently verified. The crowd size, if accurate, would make it one of the largest political rallies in Zimbabwe’s history.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the energetic crowd, thanking them for their support. He said the attendance figures at Zanu PF rallies have been “hugely impressive” and are growing at each event. The President highlighted the government’s commitment to peace and an open political environment ahead of the 2023 elections.
Some political analysts suggested the crowd size indicates growing support for Zanu PF in rural areas. However, others noted that the figures have not been verified and that organizational capacity also influences crowd sizes at political rallies. There were also questions about the accuracy of Zanu PF’s tallying method.
Meanwhile, the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) held its own launch rally in Gweru on the same day, which the Zanu PF leader claimed drew 15,000 people. The disparity in reported attendance highlights the perceived gulf in support between Zanu PF and CCC, particularly in rural versus urban areas.
However, polls will ultimately determine the outcome of the August elections. Both parties are campaigning hard nationwide to win over voters. The rallies also come against a backdrop of economic hardship in Zimbabwe that both government and the opposition blame on each other.