The Herald (Harare)

26 February 2013

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Chinhoyi Rally Flops

Chinhoyi Bureau — The MDC-T rally initially scheduled for this weekend at Chinhoyi Stadium was unceremoniously cancelled after officials were not pleased by the low turnout. Party secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti was expected to address the rally called to explain the party position on the draft constitution on Sunday starting at 9am.

However, by around midday there were only about 100 people milling around the venue while others were inside.

The rally was largely ignored by Chinhoyi residents with the majority of the nearly 400 gathered by around 2pm having been bused in from outside Chinhoyi.

The party had splashed huge colourful posters during the build-up to the rally.

Mashonaland West party chairperson Mr Japhet Karemba said the rally was cancelled after council failed to provide keys to the stadium.

The council is ironically run by MDC-T councillors.

"We had to cancel the meeting after realising that the stadium was opened when some people who wanted to attend the rally had already gone back home following a misunderstanding relating to the availability of keys to the venue," he said.

The meeting has been rescheduled to this week.

Some party sources, however, indicated that Mr Biti was advised not to come after provincial members realised that the rally was poorly attended and could not go ahead as planned.

A lowly ranked officer reportedly addressed the restless crowd.

Provincial leaders, however, met at Orange Grove Motel after they failed to mobilised a meaningful crowd.

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