- Published: 19 April 2017
- Written by Online Writer
At face value, it speaks to President Robert Mugabe’s unfading ability to retain the loyalty and love of impoverished citizens but a closer look proves there are 101 other reasons why the stadium was full to the brim.
Hordes of food vendors were among the crowd, hoping to cash-in on the event.
Banana vendor Cain Chimuseve said, “Today we have made money unlike in previous years. I am happy all my bananas are gone, I wish I had brought more. I can see that my peers are happy too.”
This year’s theme was Zimbabwe @37, embracing ease of doing business for socio-economic development.
“These days we are entrepreneurs, that’s empowerment which President Mugabe talks about. Business is slow for me but I can’t be compared to someone who was home,” said Darlington Kupfuma, a photographer.
Elton Sanyamahwe was elated about the mass displays by the police and prison departments.
Although stadium was half empty when the displays ended, it filled-up up again for the soccer match which featured $15 000 prize money for the winning team. Dynamos pocketed the cash after winning 4-3 after penalties.
Armed forces service personnel and government officials take a significant number seats in the 60,000-seater stadium. Reports indicate that vendors from markets such as Mupedzanhamo and Glenview 8 are also obligated to attend such functions or risk losing their market stalls.
Mugabe has managed to maintain his vice grip on power since independence in 1980, winning in successive contentious elections.
While his critics attribute his long stay in power to patronage and other unsavoury methods, the 93-year-old believes the electorate still love him because of his unwavering stance on self-determination and black economic empowerment.