President Robert Mugabe has dismissed as baseless allegations that his party is using state machinery to mobilise thousands of people to attend his election rallies, saying this is a creation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) designed to discredit the results of the forthcoming general poll.
Mr. Mugabe told more than 15,000 people who attended his party’s star rally at White City Stadium in Zimbabwe’s second largest city Saturday afternoon that preparations for next week’s poll are going well and dismissed reports that the state is being militarized.
The president said MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s objections to African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s remarks that Zimbabwe is set to hold a free and fair election next Wednesday, are part of a bigger plot to challenge the legitimacy of the elections.
Mr. Mugabe, who was clad in party regalia, took his supporters down a familiar road of his party’s liberation war credentials, the blameworthiness of Britain in the country’s economic meltdown and Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policies, among other issues.
He also touched on Bulawayo’s de-industrialisation and water shortages, telling his supporters that they were better off than people in other regions.
The president said the city has the advantage of millers who can easily import mealie-meal and other basic necessities from neighbouring countries.
Mr. Mugabe added that Zimbabwe is a country united by a common history and shared experiences. He urged his supporters to show the world in the forthcoming elections that all regions support his party’s values and policies.
First lady, Grace Mugabe, who accompanied her husband, told party supporters that Zanu PF will win the elections. She told them to celebrate in a responsible and peaceful manner, mindful of those who would have lost.
Mr. Mugabe thanked his supporters for attending the rally saying the crowd was the best ever in the city in two decades.
Party supporters began mobilising for the star-rally Friday through holding road shows throughout the city. Supporters were being bussed early in the morning for the president’s address which began around midday, lasting for over an hour.