Updates by Thembinkosi Mangena, Regis Mhako and Wadzanai Mhombera


15:22 – Youths in mining donate two cattle to President Mnangagwa.

15:19 – President ends speech.

15:14- ED: “Politics should take the back seat while economics should assume the front seat.”

15:13 –  Energy: ED says $1 billion will be availed for the Hwange Thermal Power Station generator unit 7 and 8 expansion project..

15:01 – He blames poor service delivery especially in towns on MDC-run councils, adding that it has taken the intervention of the Zanu PF government through the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Cde Joram Gumbo, to see roads in towns being patched up. 

15:00 – On peace: ED: “We are preaching peace. This country be will developed not by other people but by ourselves.”

15:00 – CONFIDENCE OF WINNING POLLS – ED: “Masvosve aya, kwose kwatinoenda vanhu vanenge vakangozara, zvino chingaita kuti tirwisane nezvipopi chii? Zvinenge zvichingovukura isu tichingotonga. Hapana chichachinja nekuti Zanu PF icharamba ichingotonga…….. Ngatisapedza nguva nevanhu vasina maturo………Hapana musha usina mapenzi, chero vakatituka isu ngatinyararei tichingoenderera mberi”.

14:58 – For the past two decades, we have been under illegal sanctions and since the new dispensation, we are opening Zimbabwe for business. So we are saying we will always be grateful to those who stood with us during the difficult times and then open the economy to everyone. Fortunately we are being accepted worldwide, we have investors, not only from the East, but from everywhere, the Middle East and even America,” ED.

14:54 – ED: “Saka ndinoti ngatibatanei tiri muZanu PF, Zanu PF ndiyo party yega ine nhoroondo, inoziva kwatakabva nekutambura kwakaita vana veZimbabwe kuti tive zvatiri.” 

14:53 – President Mnangagwa says there is a US$16 billion commitment from investors, and projects the economy to grow to 5 percent by year end. He adds that the transformation will in the next 12 years create a middle class economy with a gross domestic product capable of having a per capita income of up to $3500.

14:50 – Now on industrial activities, Cde Mnangagwa says David Whitehead is still not functional together with many other industries mostly in Bulawayo, adding that the aim of the government is not only to revive these industries, but to create new ones. 

14:44 – Cde Mnangagwa says while Mashonaland West has the longest part of the Great Dyke with lots of minerals, no province is poor and what is needed is to unite and explore all investment opportunities for the benefit of the entire economy. 

1:42 – President Mnangagwa says a bill is still in parliament to formalise the work of small miners so that they do not play hide and seek with the police. 

14:40 – The President says it is unfair to call small gold miners ‘makorokoza,’ and urges them to unite and then apply for mining machinery from the government so that they become more productive. He however tells the miniers to sell their gold to Fidelity Printers and Refineries, adding that the government is working on improving the payment mechanisms for gold deliveries.

14:35 – Cde Mnangagwa urges people in dry regions to plant small grains, saying the GMB is ready to buy them.

14:34 – He says the mechanisation of agricultural activities and training of agriculture extension officers are a government priority. He says the government has sourced tractors from India, which are however not for free, for local farmers, who would pay in instalments. He adds that Zimbabwe will get irrigation centre pivots from Spain with the target of putting at least 350 000 hectares of land under irrigation.  

14:31 – Cde Mnangagwa says youths and war veterans will benefit from the farms repossession and downsizing programmes, but emphasizes that the beneficiaries will need to be empowered through programmes such as command agriculture for them to be able to become productive on their land.

14:29 – Cde Mnangagwa says Mashonaland West is important in the country’s agricultural sector, but asks how come that vast acres of land are lying idle while some are being under-utilised. He adds that the on-going land audit will correct that anomally, not only in Mashonaland West Province but countrywide. 

14:26 – The President informs party members attending the rally that he earlier on presided over the renaming of Flyde Air Force Base to become JZ Moyo Air Base. He said Flyde was a white pilot of the colonial Rhodesian Forces killed during the liberation struggle. 

14:24 – He says it is no longer business as usual as Zimbabwe is now open for business.

14:23 – Cde Mnangagwa confirms that some party supporters died in an accident yesterday while coming back from a rally in Mkoba, Gweru.

14:22 – President Mnangagwa says he is happy with the high turnout at the rally, adding that ‘zvinongoratidza kuti Mashonaland West musvo weZanu PF’. 

14:14 Cde Chiwenga now invites the President to address the rally.

13:57 – He also chronicles how Cde Mnangagwa was expelled from school in the early 1960s and went to Zambia to join the liberation struggle.

13:53 – VP Chiwenga takes us down memory lane, telling the gathering that ED was born in 1942 in Mapanzure, Midlands Province. He also chronicles how in the 1940s, the colonial regime introduced a policy limiting the number of cattle blacks were allowed to own, all for the benefit of the white minority.

13:47 – The sloganeering ends with Cde Muchinguri, VP Mohadi, VP Chiwenga and Amai Mnangagwa. The latter is back again on the podium to introduce the guest of honour, President Mnangagwa.

13:36 – Zanu PF National Political Commissar, Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje is the Director of Ceremonies today and he invites Politburo members to chant the party slogan.

13:34 – Zanu PF Chairperson for Mashonaland West Province, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi welcomes people to the rally.

13:28 – Proceedings officially begin with the singing of the National Anthem.

13:22 – HE greeting is still on as ED, who is on board an open vehicle, is being driven round the venue with the crowd waving to the First Family and getting a closer look. The First Lady is in a black sun hat, with a yellow scarf that matches her black and yellow regalia.

13:15 – Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Zanu PF National Chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister Prisca Mupfumira, and other ministers and senior party members herald the entry into the stadium by the President and Zanu PF presidential candidate into the arena, with the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa in tow.

13:07 – It’s a bumper crowd for ED, who descends in a town that is renowned for agro-processing industries and cotton processing at David Whitehead and the fruit canning industry.


13:01 – Jah Prayzah and Politics: The artist has become a household name and his song ‘Kutonga Kwaro,’ widely popularised during last year’s Operation Restore Legacy, sounds as President Mnangagwa’s entourage enters the main arena. What a signature?

12:55 – And indeed, the wait is over as ED arrives for a rally. We are also now live on ZBC-TV.

12:50 – President Mnangagwa now expected at Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu anytime soon.

12:40 – Attention now shifts to Pfupajena rally



  • Born in 1927 near Plumtree on the border with Botswana.
  • Attended Mzingwane Government School after which he trained as a builder and carpenter.
  • Was initially a trade unionist in the 1950s and then participated in various capacities during the Second Chimurenga liberation in nationalist parties such as ANC, NDP and ZAPU.
  • Was arrested on February 26, 1959 and detained for three months in Marondera Joined NDP upon release prison.
  • Joined ZAPU in 1961 after NDP was banned, and subsequently became ZANU Treasurer.
  • Died in Zambia in 1977 in a parcel bomb explosion.

12:24 – Flyde Air Force Base has been officially been renamed, it is now called Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo Air Force Base.

12:16 – President Mnangagwa hails the successful completion of this renaming exercise, describing it as a huge stride in replacing the colonial legacy with one with a meaning that reflects honour on the country’s fallen heroes and heroines. He says the renaming is a decolonisation process meant to exorcise the demon of colonialism.

12: 10 – Vice President Kembo Mohadi who worked with Cde JZ Moyo during the struggle for independence gives a biography of the late national hero who started his political career in the 1950s. 

11:58 – Now, the commissioning ceremony is underway, and presiding is the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Mnangagwa.

11:45 – President Mnangagwa arrives at Flyde Air Force Base and immediately meets the family of the late Cde Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo.


11:35 – HONOUR TO THE COUNTRY’S HEROES: “The naming of this institution after one of Zimbabwe’s gallant military heroes is in line with provisions in our Amendment (No 2, Act of 2013 and Section 23 (1) which exhorts the State and all institutions and agencies of Government at every level, to accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle,” Cde Mnangagwa, speaking during the renaming of the Zimbabwe National Defence University after Cde Mangena.

11:30 – Similar events have so far been held countrywide and they still continue. On 06 December 2017, KG VI in Harare was renamed Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks, while the cantonment area which houses Zimbabwe National Defence University was also renamed Rodgers Alfred Nikita Mangena Barracks in Harare on 14 April 2018. 3 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in Mutare has also been named after the late national hero, Cde Herbert Chitepo.

11:21 – People start trickling in in Pfupajena Stadium.

11:14 – The campaign rallies come after President Mnangagwa on Wednesday proclaimed the 30th of July, 2018 as the day of the harmonised elections.

11:04 – TIRELESS: After the renaming ceremony, President Mnangagwa will address a Zanu PF rally at Pfupajena Stadium in Chegutu. Yesterday, he addressed scores of party supporters at the Mkoba open grounds in Gweru.

11:00 – President Emmerson Mnangagwa is today scheduled to rename the Suri Suri or Flyde Air Force Base between Kadoma and Chegutu to Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo Air Base in honour of the revolutionary icon of the second Chimurenga that ushered in Zimbabwe’s indipendence in 1980.