17 August 2017

Zimbabwe: President Heads to Midlands

The seventh Presidential Youth Interface Rally will be held in the Midlands Province, Zanu-PF Youth League secretary Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga said yesterday. Cde Chipanga said the date of the meeting would be revealed on Saturday when the host province holds an inter-district meeting in Gweru. "There will be a Zanu-PF inter-district meeting on August 19, which will be held in preparation for President Mugabe's visit," he said.

"The President has already furnished us with the date and we are going to announce it during that inter-district meeting. The inter-district meeting will be attended by district youth chairpersons, members of the provincial Youth League as well as other friendly stakeholders. As has become the norm, the party will be represented at all levels."

President Mugabe has been visiting provinces around the country interacting with the youths and directly responding to their concerns.

The zanu-pf First Secretary has been to Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland West provinces.

Last Saturday he was in Matabeleland South province.

The interfaces are being organised by the zanu-pf Youth League.

zanu-pf is using the platforms to launch a massive campaign for voter registration of youths ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections.

Cde Chipanga said they were benefiting from interacting with the Head of State and Government.

"We are being listened to and some of our challenges are being addressed," he said. "What is coming out during the meetings is the fact that every province has opportunities available, but what is needed is Government support to unlock them. The economy resides in these provinces and the President is visiting to get an appreciation of what is in each and every province. We are glad we have a leadership that has the youths at heart."

Among other issues, the Youth League is advocating for young people to have access to land, agricultural inputs and participate in mining activities.

zanu-pf is also using the rallies to show its mobilisation prowess as each rally is being attended by huge crowds.

This dovetails with findings by respected think tanks that President Mugabe and zanu-pf's approval ratings have been increasing inversely proportional to trust for the opposition.

Cde Chipanga said as youths, they were excited about the unity being exhibited in organising the rallies.

"We had challenges during the first meetings when senior leaders in various provinces wanted to use the rallies to further their interests before we categorically stated that this was a youth affair," he said.

"Since then the youths are playing a leading role and the senior leaders are coming in in guiding them in the organisations of the gatherings. All this is being done in unity. We are also impressed by the discipline being shown by our youths, no incidents of violence have been recorded. It is our hope that the last rallies in Midlands, Mashonaland Central, Bulawayo and Harare provinces will have no incidents."

The engagements are expected to run until October when he would have visited all the 10 provinces.

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