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LIVE UPDATES: President Mugabe meeting with war veterans

FOLLOWING last week’s communique criticizing President Mugabe’s leadership, political temperature within the ruling party has been rising. Today Mugabe meets war veterans supporting his administration.

Mugabe is today expected to address a gathering fronted by a splinter group of the ex-combatants headed by Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene and Bulawayo war veteran George Mlala, among others at the Zanu PF headquarters. Updates by Elias Mambo, Blessed Mhlanga and Richard Chidza


9:12 AM: It’s clear a lot of money has been invested into solidarity meeting for Mugabe. A powerful outdoor PA system belting out songs from the late Solomon Chimbetu.

9:13 AM: Simon sorry these smart phones here

9:15 AM: The stage arriving just now. ZBC was here early setting up its OB van for live coverage.

9:22: The contrast of the haves and have nots is so apparent here. Those being bussed hardly have decent shoes and those in elegant suits and fuel guzzling V8 SUVs

9:24 AM: They are all to prop up Mugabe

9:29 AM: Former Minister Webster Shamu arrives in a Mec E240

9:30 AM: You could think it’s a car parade at this solidarity meeting.

9:31 AM: Land Rover Disc 4, Merc’s Land Cruiser’s and the Ford double cabs.

9:37 AM: Choir singing VaMugabe chiwororo as more youths troop into the War Vets solidarity meeting.


9:47 AM: VaMugabe varikutonga changamukai- The irony of the song being sung here in line with the calls by protesters who are urging Zimbabweans to wake up and remove Mugabe from power.

9:49 AM: The weather here is cloudy and most who had come without jackets are shivering while waiting for their patron.

10:06 AM: Long queues forming outside HQ now as more people pour in. Cell leaders doing a row call amid reports that those not registered would be dealt with.

10:07 AM: Work on the stage still ongoing

10:10 AM: Elsewhere in the country as war vets sing Mugabe praise

10:34 AM: Numbers swelling here, with some ZanuPF supporters wearing the Zim flag.

10:35 AM: A Tonde standing next to me tells his friends to go inside so they can been seen before they can disappear

10:38 AM: School bus has brought some of the “war vets ”

10:44 AM: More people from Mash Central….Mash West…Mash East….buses arriving


10:45 AM: It looks more like a meeting of youths than for people who went to war some 36 years ago.

10:49 AM: “wecame to get update on our stands” youths from Mash Central

10:50 AM: A snr Zanu PF member tells me they are with Matemadanda and Mutsvangwa in heart although they can’t declare it openly. Is just here for appearances

10:59 AM: Cot yard now full supporters gathering outside the fence as work in the stage continues

10:59 AM: women war vets singing on stage…..hakuna muwar vet asingagoni kuimba seava….

11:00 AM: The discord u just wonder what happened at the pungwe meetings

11:01 AM: The atmosphere here is far from electric, it’s dull


11:04 AM: Most people heading off the buses straight into town not interested in attending the solidarity meeting

11:06 AM: Intake of opaque beer in public is apparently allowed here. Police not moved.

11:06 AM: MC shouting …ngatifarei ngatitambei…no one dancing

11:15 AM: Children who are supposed to be in school coming to meet their ‘patron’ under the guise of war vets

11:18 AM: Silence here as sound engineers work on the PA

11:18 AM: Blessed..the meeting has three groups…war vets..children if war vets and Zanu PG youths….the youths and children of war vets are coming to thnk Mugabe for stands…war vets …a show of solidarity after bashing their patron in a loaded communique

11:21 AM: Their advertisement only says ex detainees war collaborators and members of ZNLWA to meet our patron.

11:24 AM: Shadreck Mashayamombe cheered as he walked in

11:24 AM: Nearly 15 min gone with PA down its not clear what is happening on stage


11:28 AM: Chinotimba addressing

11:28 AM: Youths must go behind war vets

11:28 AM: Chants pasi nevanopandukira Mugabe

11:30 AM: We have those that assisted in the war and are now being called war vets. They are here

11:44 AM: Nyaruwata being cased from high table by security details

11:47 AM: Chimene remonstrating with members of faction

11:50 AM: Chinotimba negotiating fir Nyaruwata to be allowed to the high table

11:53 AM: Nyaruwata, Chinotimba, Chimene and crew forced to retreat

12:03 PM: Mugabe yet to arrive

12:05 PM: Shuvai Mahofa arrives


12:07 PM: President Mugabe arrives

12:25 PM: Tendai Savanhu also here

12:29 PM: Tambaoga of toilet fame reappears

13:14: George Mlala says Mgagao did not elect our leader

13:14: He was elected by the people

13:14: We thank you for what you did

13:15 You were part of a national program but the owners of the struggle were at home.

13:16: Those that think 36 yrs is too long go hand

13:17 So all of you have been in gvt retire as well

13:17: Mugabe was elected first black Prime Minister

13:17: He formed a gvt with all of you

13:19: Its surprising that some people claiming to be war veterans now want to tell us that 14 million people made a mistake

13:20: Mgagao was a simple camp. One of the camps which had no mandate to take a decision on behalf of other camps

13:20: If you did it, the people of Zimbabwe changed that in 1980

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