Mugabe "Home Coming" And "Thank You" Rally On Cards

Mugabe
Published: 2016 September 23 06:48:24 (3882 Views)

THE ruling Zanu PF party has organised a "homecoming party" and "thank you rally" for President Robert Mugabe, who is expected home tomorrow after attending the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The planned rally comes at a time the 92-year-old Zanu PF leader is facing increasing pressure from local opposition parties and his peers in the Sadc region to step down due to old age and his failure to arrest the country's economic meltdown.

Zanu PF Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe yesterday urged party members to be at Harare International Airport tomorrow afternoon to welcome their leader and "show him support for his sterling work".

"Every party member is invited to Harare International Airport on Saturday at 1pm, as we welcome the President, RG Mugabe, and to support the great work he did together with our friends based in America. Everyone must be at the airport," Mashayamombe's WhatsApp message to Zanu PF members read.

Mugabe, who on Wednesday was urged to step down by Botswana President Ian Khama, is expected to address hundreds of supporters in a show of power.

In a marathon travel schedule, Mugabe left the country last week for Venezuela to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit before heading to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Mugabe had just flown in from Zambia, where he attended the inauguration of President Edgar Lungu, who defeated his main rival, Hakainde Hichilema, in a disputed poll last month.

The 92-year-old leader left the country at a time street protests were escalating due to economic decline and increasing unemployment and, according to insiders, he would use the platform to respond to Khama. Already, placards rebuking Khama were reportedly being printed last night and would be displayed at the airport rally.

Mugabe has refused to step down, declaring that he would continue to rule Zimbabwe as long as "my people need me". 

His wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe, has also scoffed at suggestions that her husband should relinquish power — vowing he would rule from the grave in the event he dies in office. Mugabe has already been endorsed as the Zanu PF presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.



- NewsDay
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