Harare – Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has described as "disturbing" the million-man march planned for President Robert Mugabe, 92, by his Zanu-PF party.
Reports indicated that the ruling party's youths were planning to hold the march on Africa day, May 25 in the capital Harare.
Zanu-PF's national deputy secretary for the youth, Kudzai Chipanga said the march would function as a show of support for Mugabe, who recently confirmed that he would be contesting the 2018 elections, health permitting.
Mugabe was set to be the guest of honour at the event, with Chipanga confirming that all supporters of the nonagenarian had been invited to attend.
However, the MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu described the event as "disturbing".
Gutu said it would have been better if the event was designed to allow the party to make "a public apology for Mugabe's misrule for the past 36 years".
Gutu said Zimbabweans should march against dictatorship and not in support of tyranny.
Bread basket of Africa
“The MDC would like to unreservedly and strenuously condemn the proposed Zanu-PF so-called million men march that is supposed to take place on May 25,2016. If anything, whoever is going to march on May 25 should be marching against poverty, joblessness, hunger, destitution and corruption.
"It is these ills that have been the hallmark of Robert Mugabe's unparalleled mismanagement of the national economy over the past few decades," Gutu said in a statement sent to News24.
Gutu claimed that it was ironic that the march was slated to coincide with a unique and a very important day in Africa as Africans across the continent were going to be celebrating and remembering its significance.
He said that Mugabe together with his ruling party had taken a once flourishing country that was regarded as the "bread basket of Africa" into the depth of poverty and destructive economy.
Hopes of millions of Zimbabweans
"It is very ironic and indeed, extremely disturbing, that on such a historic day, the faction-ridden and beleaguered Zanu-PF regime intends to stage a so-called million men march in support of President Robert Mugabe, a man who has single-handedly destroyed and trashed the hopes of millions of Zimbabweans by running down Zimbabwe's economy," Gutu said.
He called upon all Zimbabweans to refuse to be forced into honouring a man, he described as being "clueless".
News 24 reported about a week ago that Bulawayo's Zanu-PF youth branch had hired at least 76 buses to ferry party supporters to the event.
A NewsDay report revealed that the march would cost at least $600 000, with the bulk of the money coming out of the government’s purse.
According to unnamed sources, the money was to be squeezed out of the ailing parastatals, private firms and the few remaining white commercial farmers.
- News 24