15:59 -President Mugabe heaps praises on Cde Chipanga,  saying he has united the youths, something which the party has failed all along.

15:56 –  President Mugabe speaks on the Command Agriculture Programme, saying although it was a success, the government overlooked the need to expand storage silos and ‘we are hearing that the available silos are now full.’

15:50 – On the tendency of people especially from Matabeleland provinces, he says: ‘Let’s stay here and work on our land.”

15:49 – President Mugabe confirms that he today met Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Cde Kembo Mohadi and other leaders and implored them to keep the people together.

15:45 – President Mugabe reiterates the importance of unity during the liberation struggle, saying the war was a struggle of leaders who did not accept disunity. He cherished the unity that exists in Zanu PF, saying ‘We hope this will not come to an end.’

15:43 – 0n Dabengwa, Cde Mugabe says he does not know why Dabengwa decided to do what he is doing, ‘to leave some of us. We started this journey with him.’

15:40 – He describes Chikerema as assertive in nature, saying he would assert himself in any grouping he found himself in. “He would brag that he controlled Nkomo and as a result, he influenced him to form a government in exile.”

Cde Mugabe adds that this idea was opposed by many including the likes of Joseph Musika and youths led by Dumiso Dabengwa.

15:38 – Cde Mugabe takes down memory lane, chronicling how ZAPU was formed, adding that his cousin, James Chikerema, who was the spokesman of Zapu, was among the pioneers.

15:37 – Cde Mugabe says: “I and Umdala Wethu attended the formation of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU),…………,and one thing that we regret is the split of Zapu and Zanu PF. But such things happen,”

15:20 –  Hoping that the late Dr Nkomo is resting in peace together with other departed Comrades, Cde Mugabe also describes the late Ndebele King, Mzilikazi as one of the pioneers of the struggle, adding that even his remains are interred in the great area of Ematojeni.

15:14- He says: “We are in a province that we honour so much, the province that has Zanu PF party values. It has history also, is it not this province where [the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo] Umdala Wethu hailed from?. We held meetings with Umdala Wethu, from Kezi to Plumtree, Gwanda, Filabusi and Beitbridge.”

15:09 – His Excellency says he is still mourning the death of Cde Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu whom he calls his father in law. “Our tears are still fresh. We miss him. We miss him today, we will miss him and we shall miss him forever. I hope you keep him in your prayers so that he continues to rest in peace.”

15:08 –  To Zanu PF Matabeleland North Province, “We need you, we need you so much,” he says.

15:04- After salutations and confirmation that the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe has travelled to South Africa to have her foot examined after she was injured at the airport in a freak accident recently, President Mugabe thanks youths for organising the Presidential Youth Interface rallies.

15:02 -President addresses the rally.

14:58 – Cde Chipanga explains expectations of youths in Matabeleland South Province, which include empowerment demands such as licensing of small scale miners and consideration in the Beitbridge-Harare highway dualisation project.

14:53 – He says youths are prepared to contest in all political positions except for the post of President. He says they will contest for positions of councillors, MPs, adding that the only position that has a candidate already is that of President.

14:45 – Cde Chipanga  calls on youths to register for next year’s elections, adding that President Mugabe and the ruling party, Zanu PF are going to win next year’s elections. “Ma elections akatowhiniwa kare, zvakatonyorwa pasi nekudenga kuti Gushungo ndimi munowhina next year.”

14:39 –  Cde Chipanga takes to the podium to address delegates.

14:32 – Cde Chipanga asks Vice Presidents: Phelekezela Mphoko and Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa to great the gathering.

14:31 –  Zanu PF Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga introduces Politburo members present and Cde Ignatius Chombo chants the party’s slogans.

14:26 – Everyone is up for the singing of the National Anthem.

14:11 – After arrival, President Mugabe is moving around the stadium greeting thousands of party supporters aboard an open ZRP truck. With the trademark  song: ‘Jongwe Rinotonga Rimwechete,’ sounding, Cde Mugabe is actually waving the Zimbabwean flag in the company of Zanu PF Youth League leader, Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga.

14:10 –  You can catch the proceedings live on ZBC TV.

14:09 – After commissioning the information centre, President Mugabe is now at Pelandaba Stadium for the rally.

Pres Mugabe at the Jahunda Information Centre

13:11 – President Mugabe arrives at the Gwanda Information Centre for its official opening before heading for Pelandaba for the interface rally.

12:17 – Numbers soar at Pelandaba Stadium

Barcelona legends Rayco Garcia (left) Edgar Davids (with dreadlocks) and Patrick Kluivert (right) attend interface in the company of the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane

Remember President Mugabe will open the Gwanda Information Communication Center before the rally

Cde Abigail Damasane and Cde Tambudzani Mohadi ready for the interface

10:20 – Thousands continue to throng Pelandaba Stadium and part of the crowd enjoys performances by various local artists

10:20 – Thousands continue to throng Phelandaba Stadium and part of the crowd enjoys performances by various local artists

People continue flocking into Pelandaba Stadium, some have come by train from as far as Beitbridge
09:23 –  Preview from Sifiso Mpofu in Gwanda:

A carnival and electric atmosphere has already gripped the normally sleepy town of Gwanda ahead of the arrival of President Mugabe.

A train from Beitbridge, as well as trucks and buses have been shuttling people to Gwanda since the early hours of the morning and the stadium is expected to be overflowing by mid-day Outside Pelandaba stadium, jovial youths and Zanu PF supporters could be seen dancing and singing revolutionary songs as they await the arrival of their icon.

The President is expected to arrive at the ZRP headquarters ground around 11.am before he enters into a briefing with the Zanu PF Matabeleland South provincial leadership.

He will later officially open the Gwanda Community Information Centre before addressing thousands of party supporters at Pelandaba Stadium later in the day.

Youths in Matabeleland South expressed optimism that President Mugabe will look into the challenges facing youths in the province which include access to land as well as equipment and mining machinery.

The province has 5 gold mining districts.

 

09:15 – The rallies come in the wake of a bumper harvest recorded countrywide thanks to the Command Agriculture Programme.

09:12 – At other rallies, President Mugabe has urged young people to be self-enterprising as opposed to waiting for employment.

09:08 – The interface rallies are being organised by the Zanu PF Youth League with support from other party wings.
They give youths an opportunity to interact with the President, as well as mobilise youths to register to vote for the 2018 elections.

09:02 – President Mugabe has already held rallies in Marondera (Mashonaland East), Mutare (Manicaland), Masvingo, Lupane (Matabeleland North) and Chinhoyi (Mashonaland West) provinces.

09:00 – President Robert Mugabe this afternoon meets youths at Pelendaba Stadium s in Gwanda in the sixth of his Presidential Youth Interface rallies.