Updates by: Thembinkosi Mangena, Sijabuliso Ndlovu and Wadzanai Mhombera


15:22 – We get a vote of thanks from the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Province, Cde Cain Mathema.

15:18 –  Cde Mugabe done with his speech, and Cde Chipanga invites representatives of the Matabeleland North Youth League to present a gift the President.

15:14 – President Mugabe warns the group moving around in a vehicle emblazoned the First lady’s portrait and harassing people in the name of the party to stop it.

15:08 – He calls for youths to register as voters in next year’s elections, urging the Youth League to target university and college students

15:00 – Cde Mugabe says youths must jump on empowerment opportunities availed to them by the government and not to be like others who are overwhelming the government with demands for land now yet they were reluctant to take land during the Land Reform Programme.

14:55 – He urges young people to be self-enterprising as opposed to waiting for employment. He says they should open their companies and not not to rely on employment by the white man.

14:54 – Cde Mugabe  reiterates government’s commitment empower youths.

14:47 – On Command Agriculture Programme, Cde Mugabe says with the bumper harvest recorded this season, the country is not going to import maize anymore.

14:43 – Cde Mugabe thanks the support he continues to get from various quarters. On calls for him to go, the President says: “The youths are saying no, the women are saying no, all you who are here are saying no, so who are you to say I must go.”

14:29 – President reiterates calls for unity, saying ‘If ever development is to take place, there is need for unity, unity and unity of purpose, no to individualism – that my, me mentality. So there must be unity in the Youth League, all party wings, all Zanu PF structures and the country as a whole. We are all Zimbabweans. Move out of the country and you can’t tell them that I am Ngwenya or any other name, you say I am a Zimbabwean. That unity is what Umdlala [Joshua Nkomo] thrived for for”

14:22 – “Now we must remain united, this is our country. Let us not lose our land. Losing our independence means losing our land and wealth. We must not lose it, let us be owners of the land, not slaves of the white man but owners of our land to produce our food and build our houses our this land,” says President Mugabe.

14:18 – Chiefs listening to President Mugabe

14:13 – After all salutations, President Mugabe thanks the Youth League for organising the fourth rally as well as the One Million Man March. He also expresses his gratitude to those who have attended the rally. “My heart is overwhelmed, overwhelmed by your love and generosity, by your confidence and belief in me. After all, I am your President. I know I have your support, i don’t have just two supporters like other parties, but the whole country.”

14:09 – The First Lady concludes her speech and Cde Chipanga invites President Mugabe to give his keynote address.

14:04 – Dr Mugabe castigates the ‘COZWA’ group for trying to destabilise the country. “We don’t want violence, we don’t such activities. The police must go for them and arrest them , we want peace which is the legacy of the late former Vice President John Nkomo.

14:02 – She implores government departments and ministries to come on board and help develop backward areas like Binga and others.

14:01 – She says improving the lives of people is the only way to retain the support of the people, adding that come 2018 they will win the hearts of the people in Binga, which had become a playing ground for the opposition MDC-T.

14:00 – Dr Mugabe: “The project should also go a long way in uplifting lives in Binga and fulfilling ZIMASSET targets. Within five years, the 16000 hectares should be fully open and productive to create jobs and to uplift the lives of people in this area. We should also be able to grow other crops for value addition.”

13:58 – She explains that the project will be used mainly to produce seed maize and avail seed to other parts of the country.

13:57 – The Mugabe expresses gratitude to the youth league for the impressive mobilisation in the province, saying despite the long distances that people have to travel in the province, the attendance is impressive. She also stresses the need to keep in touch with the people saying that  her wish has been highly adhered to.

13:56 – Amai Mugabe reminds the gathering of her Bulawayo Kraal project in Binga where a piece of land has been opened for agricultural purposes. She confirms that a partner has been identified to make the land productive and that 100 hectares of maize is already on the ground.

13:49 – The First Lady thanks the Youth League for organising such rallies as they allow party leaders to reach out to all the provinces.

13:43 – Cde Chipanga castigates abuse of social media by people and groups, such as COZWA, which want to tarnish the image of the Zanu PF Youth League and the party. He reprimands ZICOSU, “you are our affiliates and not supervisors of the Youth League. When you have grievances, approach the responsible ministry and no to provoking others, shooting videos and provoking others in the name of the Youth League.

13:42 – On factionalism, Cde Chipanga says youths are fully behind President Mugabe and the First Lady. He says the First Lady is free to offer advice and reprimands the Youth League when she observes them going astray.

13:41 – Still on development, he appeals to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to speed up the construction of housing for government employees so that they work from here.

13:37 – Cde Chipanga says: “We wonder what parastatals are doing? We know they exist because people are getting paid. We know they exist because of the seminars they are holding. It is our humble suggestion Your Excellency that each minister tells us how many parastatals did she or he resuscitate.”

13:34 – Thanking the Ministry of ICT, Postal and Courier Services for working tirelessly in setting up information communication centres with the latest in Lupane, Cde Chipanga takes ministries to task, proposing that all ministries be accountable to their work.

1333: Cde Chipanga bemoaned lack of development in the province, saying as youths they have since discovered that most head of government departments in the province stay in Bulawayo. He therefore urges responsible authorities to work on the development of Lupane and the province as a whole. He has

13:35 – Cde Chipanga also hails Matabeleland North Province for being the second province after Mashonaland East to construct their own party offices, a sign that ‘Zanu PF is here to stay in Matabeleland North Mr President.’

13:23-  Cde Chipanga takes to the podium and hails Matabeleland North for being the most united and peaceful province in the country.

“There is no bickering in Matabeleland North, you never hear anything like that. Cde President, this is one province which is fully behind you.”

13:20 – School children from Kamativi Primary School, enrolled to the National Youth Service Programme, make displays for President Mugabe.  Cde Hamandishe says introducing primary schools to the national youth service will make them patriotic.

“If we catch them young, they will never sellout.”

13:08 – Vice Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa great the gathering.

13:06: Cde Mbongeni Dube is back to the podium to give his remarks. He welcomes party supporters in Matabeleland North. He describes this province is blessed with natural resources, pledging the youths’ support to President Mugabe.

13:06 –  Zanu PF Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Kudzai Chipanga introduces Politburo members present and Cde Ignatius Chombo chants the party’s slogans.

12:55 –  Time for introductions of Zanu PF Mat North provincial leadership. Matabeleland North Youth League Chairperson, Cde Mbongeni Dube introduces party members who assisted the Youth League in organising the interface rally. He singles a Cde Mlilo from the Women’s League, Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Cde Richard Moyo, War Veterans leader Cde Mguni and Central Committee members represented by Cde Fatti Mpofu.

1250: Standing in for Chief Mabhikwa, Florence Khumalo who is welcomes members to the area through a traditional welcoming song.

12:47 – Zanu PF National Youth Commissar, Innocent Hamandishe, who is the Master of Ceremonies (MC), asks everyone to stand up for the singing of the National Anthem.

12:30 – President Mugabe arrives and moves around Somhlolo Stadium greeting thousands of party supporters aboard an open truck. With the song: ‘Jongwe Rinotonga Rimwechete,’ sounding, Cde Mugabe is actually waving the Zimbabwean flag in the company of the First Lady and Zanu PF Youth League leader, Cde Kudazanai Chipanga.

12:28 – For those not a Somhlolo stadium, you can now catch the proceedings live on ZBC TV. We are now live.

12:27 – Cde Mugabe says teachers now have more sources of information to research​.

12:16 – He says the ICT facility will make life easier for both students and teachers and has helped students catch up with information where books are not readily available.

12:14 – President Mugabe has officially opens the Lupane Community Information Centre.

12:00 – Cde Mandiwanzira expresses optimism that the facility will be handy for research purposes for both school children and Lupane State University (LSU) students

11:59 – The Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Cde Supa Mandiwanzira addresses guests, says it is the intention of the government to ensure that all government documents and services which include passports, birth certificates, death certificates can be applied for online.

11:53 – President Mugabe and the First Lady during their tour of Lupane Information Centre before the official opening

11:42] – The President is expected to handover a total of 120 laptops to six schools Masenyane Primary, Mthuphane Secondary, Vulindlela Secondary, Jotsholo  Primary, Kusile Primary and Makhovula Primary, all in Lupane. Each of the schools will receive​ 20 laptops.

11:37 – More than US$800 000 has been spent so far by POTRAZ in 80 out of 220 constituencies for the programme targeting rural schools first before it spreads to urban areas as it seeks to increase access to internet facilities in remote areas.

11:35 – The information centre was converted from a post office to accommodate modern ICT infrastructure in line with the modern trends


President in Lupane

11:33 – Soon President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe arrive at the information centre and begin their tour.

11:31 – Zanu PF Youth Chairman, Cde Kudzai Chipanga also arrives.

11:30 – The two vice presidents: Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cde Phelekezela Mphoko arrive at Lupane Information Centre for the official opening.

11:19 – Ministers also start arriving including Dr Christopher Mushohwe, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, Professor Jonathan Moyo and Dr Joseph Made.

People continue to pour into Somhlolo stadium

09:43 – Cde has also denounced factionalism and those who use youths to further their political ambitions. He has also urged the party to start organising itself for 2018 polls. “We must start now…” he said in Masvingo at the last interface.

09:37 – If you didn’t know, Matabeleland North Province is known for coal mining in Hwange, methane deposits, tourism at the mighty Victoria Falls, wildlife at Hwange National Park and the Gwayi-Shangani conservancy, livestock production, and maize and wheat farming at ARDA Jotsholo, among other things.
Issues of human wildlife conflicts have been topical in Mat North.

09:31 – We are not sure what Cde Mugabe will say but Matabeleland North but has in previous rallies made a commitment ensure youths are taken seriously in terms of empowering them through availing A1 farms to them has vast opportunities for youths.

09:20 – 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.

09:06 – People already filling up the stadium

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

09:00 – President Robert Mugabe this afternoon meets youths at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane in the fourth of his Presidential Youth Interface rallies.