Mashonaland East Province over the weekend celebrated President Mugabe’s recent election as African Union chairman through a solidarity march where thousands of people in the province took part.
The province becomes the first in the country to celebrate the elevation of President Mugabe to the most powerful post in Africa.
President Mugabe, who is also the Sadc chairman, took over AU reins in January this year.
The march started with a procession at the Zanu-PF provincial offices in Marondera to Rudhaka Stadium, where Provincial Minister Joel Biggie Matiza addressed the crowd.
In his address, Cde Matiza said President Mugabe’s election to lead the two bodies was clear testimony that he was a tower of good leadership and statesmanship.
He said although the West attempted to tarnish the President’s reputation through the imposition of illegal sanctions, Sadc and Africa at large saw the visionary leadership in him and unreservedly honoured him with the two powerful posts.
“Despite economic sanctions imposed by the USA and the European Union, Africa elected President Mugabe as the AU chairman on 30 January 2015,” he said.
“His election was because of his empowering polices such as indigenisation, land reform and his clarion call for the beneficiation of the continent’s mineral wealth.
“As Mashonaland East, we are delighted that our country now has influence on topics of discussion at the AU with the hope that the discourse of empowerment and mineral beneficiation will benefit the whole African continent.”
He said through President Mugabe’s leadership, thousands of landless Zimbabweans benefited through the land reform (programme), while others were taking part in the indigenisation process, which was aimed at empowering the previously marginalised blacks economically.
Cde Matiza said several groups, including women and the youths, have also benefited through President Mugabe’s policies.
“Mashonaland East province is in the process of operationalising the various community share ownership trusts and ensuring compliance by qualifying businesses in the province, who include granite mining companies and others,” he said.
“This indigenisation is a result of the visionary leadership of President Mugabe and thus, we celebrate his brilliant leadership.”
Cde Matiza said the Zanu-PF Government had managed to deal with divisive elements in both the party and Government, and it was now important to ensure that the party resoundingly wins in the June 10 by-elections.
“We have managed to weed out all the charlatans that sought to undermine the leadership of our dear leader and now it is time for us to solidify our support base and ensure that we win all the outstanding by-elections,” he said.
The event was also attended by traditional chiefs, war veterans and several senior civil servants in the province.
Conspicuous by their absence were the acting Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Aeneas Chigwedere and other senior members in the province such as Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Cde Paddy Zhanda and former provincial minister Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa.