THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Rally was failure for Mugabe
Jan Raath, The Times (UK)
December 01, 2007

It was the Million Man and Woman March, meant to show the support that President Mugabe commands, replicating the vast throng that welcomed him in 1980 when he returned to an independent Zimbabwe at the end of a civil war.

This time, instead of the crowds that spontaneously spilled on to the streets, the Government commandeered the railway service, seized vehicles and rounded up supporters of the Zanu (PF) party to pack the streets and football stadium of Harare yesterday in support of Mr Mugabe's candidature for the presidential election. By the time that Mr Mugabe, in an African print shirt bearing his own face, arrived at the rally that was intended as a stern message to members of his own party who had planned to replace him in a congress next week, only 20,000 had been assembled.

It was a small fraction of the sea of faces that greeted his return in 1980 and fewer than Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader, assembles on the rare occasion that he is allowed to hold a rally. "I think there are many more people queuing at the banks in town for cash," Willard Dhlalo, a bystander, said.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.