Thousands from Humanikwa Village, home of former opposition leader and Prime Minister, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, yesterday made an emotional return to the ruling Zanu PF party having been impressed by the developmental thrust fostered by President Mnangagwa.
Headman Humanikwa, born Chivara Makuvise, led the villagers in giving a solidarity speech at a rally that was addressed by Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at Mutasa Business Centre, Buhera West Constituency, which drew thousands of party supporters.
Cde Tafadzwa Mugwadi is the ruling party’s parliamentary candidate for Buhera West.
Mr Tsvangirai was the face of opposition politics in the country from 1999 until his death on February 14, 2018 and at one time became Prime Minister of the country from 2009 to 2013 under the inclusive Government. His death and subsequent rejuvenation of the ruling party also coincided with a change of leadership in the opposition whose fortunes are fast waning.
Acting President Chiwenga said despite having differed politically with the Government, President Mnangagwa was magnanimous enough and supported Mr Tsvangirai in his hour of need by taking care of his medical and living expenses.
The villagers said they did not have safe drinking water and Acting President Chiwenga immediately pledged that they would get 15 boreholes, courtesy of President Mnangagwa’s Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme.
“I heard that headman Humanikwa is coming with all his people, coming back to the ruling Zanu PF party, the party they looked after during the war of liberation,” said Acting President Chiwenga.
“I am saying this because I operated in this area. I was here in Manicaland Province with General Nyambuya who is here today.
“I came here in 1977, when Chimoio was attacked and a lot of people were killed. I was here in Buhera and then we returned to Mozambique in November 1977.
“My journey was to go to Mhondoro to open a new detachment. I want to say to Headman Humanikwa, you have done well. When Tsvangirai became sick, he came to our offices and we took his plight to President Mnangagwa when he was still the Vice President, then we escalated it to President Mugabe.
“We said he remained a Zimbabwean citizen and the party he was leading had failed to take care of him so we helped him to get treatment. His children will testify to this.
“President Mnangagwa continued taking care of his treatment until his death and Government took care of his burial.
“I am happy that his family and people from his village have returned home. I have also heard what Headman Humanikwa has asked for and we will thus make sure Buhera West gets 15 solar boreholes from His Excellency, the President’s borehole scheme,” he said.
Acting President Chiwenga also said the ruling party was not only looking for a majority and extension of President Mnangagwa’s mandate as these were as good as guaranteed, but was looking for a statement win of 80 percent to affirm the great development work of the President.
Buhera, he said, having borne the brunt of colonialism and the subsequent liberation struggle, should be a leading light in marshalling us towards a resounding victory for the party of national independence – Zanu PF.
He also spoke of the rapid economic development that the President has set the country on through multiple high impact projects across the country whose ultimate goal is to make the country to an empowered upper-middle income economy by 2030.
“We are looking at a victory of at least 80 percent and above because Zanu PF is the party that fought the liberation war and is championing development and economic growth for everyone’s benefit.
“Here in Buhera you have lived experience. You had Dzapasi Assembly Point where freedom fighters stayed after the Second Chimurenga.
“Zanu PF is the only party that can preserve the liberation struggle. There is no place here in Zimbabwe where the war of liberation wasn’t fought, where freedom fighters were not killed. Why should we give our wealth back to the colonialists.
“The only way we can preserve this wealth is by simply casting a vote for our visionary leader, His Excellency Cde Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa,” he said.
Headman Humanikwa, who revealed that they had previously voted for the opposition, said they had seen the beauty of Zanu PF and were ready to deliver victory for the ruling party.
“I am the village head of Humanikwa where Morgan Tsvangirai came from. I don’t have much to say Acting President, suffice to say I have come here with people from my village.
“Tsvangirai was my nephew. What happened back then is now water under the bridge. It no longer matters but we are here today. What we were doing (opposition politics) was unhelpful and now we have seen the beauty of Zanu PF.
“We are back in the ruling party, the home of development and I want to thank the local party leadership here in Buhera led by Cde Mugwadi who showed us the way,” he said.
Deputy president of Senate Lieutenant General (Retired) Mike Nyambuya implored the people of Buhera and Manicaland as a whole to be proud of the massive infrastructure development projects undertaken by the Second Republic under the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa.
“When the history of Zimbabwe’s liberation is going to be written and it is being written, one thing which will make the people of Manicaland and Buhera proud is the fact that the first liberated warzone in Manicaland was actually Buhera.
“Buhera was a liberated zone from 1977 which the Acting President was talking about up to the end of the liberation war. Buhera was a no-go area for the Rhodesian forces.
“The Acting President has talked about massive infrastructure developments which were undertaken and being undertaken by the Second Republic. Marovanyati Dam is going to be a game changer for Manicaland and people of Buhera,” said Lt Gen (Retired) Nyambuya.
Cde Mugwadi said the ruling Zanu PF party had been rejuvenated by the Second Republic and parliamentary and council candidates were simply accompanying President Mnangagwa to an inevitable victory on August 23.
He said the rest of party candidates were all too happy to ride on President Mnangagwa’s huge popularity and accompany him to the finish line.
“People came in their numbers to hear the message of the party leadership,” said Cde Mugwadi.
“I can’t tell the exact number but you might need to know that we have distributed 18 000 t-shirts here and as you can see, most people didn’t get which means we are well over that number.
“The party has been rejuvenated and we are raring to go. The campaign trail has been easy for us candidates owing to the huge popularity of President Mnangagwa.
“He is popular because he has delivered his promises way beyond the expectations of most people. As candidates, we are accompanying the President to the finishing line and the Acting President Chiwenga confirmed that,” he said.
Zanu PF supporter Ms Clara Muhoni heaped praise on President Mnangagwa’s leadership and their candidate Cde Mugwadi.
“President Mnangagwa is a leader who delivers. He has done a lot for the country in a short space of time, and we will definitely vote for him come August 23.
“We cannot wait to have our very own Tafadzwa as our MP officially. He is someone who understands us and with him as MP, we are sure all our concerns will be tabled before the President and will be addressed.”
Another Zanu PF supporter Mercy Makoni said 23 August was just for confirmation.
“Come August 23, we will vote for President Mnangagwa and Cde Mugwadi. The future is bright for the country and Buhera West,” said Ms Makoni.
“Just like the President, Cde Mugwadi is intelligent and hardworking and that is the kind of leadership we want at all levels.”