Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday suffered the indignity of addressing a virtually empty Rufaro Stadium in Harare, after the government ill-advisedly sought to hijack and use for its own ends this year’s Workers’ Day commemorations.
Despite committed efforts by lapdog State media to drum up support for the event ahead of yesterday, the commemorations flopped spectacularly after the country’s main workers’ representative body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) boycotted what ultimately manifested itself as a Zanu PF rally.
The Daily News has been told that Labour minister, Prisca Mupfumira acted against advice from fellow Zanu PF officials and invited Mnangagwa to be the guest of honour at the event despite indications on the ground that the VP is hugely unpopular.
Barely a thousand people, most of them huddled in the middle of the stadium’s western stand, attended the commemorations, as the embattled VP — facing serious Zanu PF resistance to his mooted ambitions to succeed President Robert Mugabe — officiated at the event.
“Mupfumira blundered by inviting Mnangagwa against wise advice not to. We believe that the move was meant to prop up the VP and sell him as a suitable person to replace ...Mugabe but as soon as Zanu PF people leant that the VP had been roped in, they decided against attending.
“It was a huge embarrassment and exposed the VP and yesterday he was the subject of serious ridicule on the Zanu PF social media platforms with most saying the humiliation at Rufaro was enough testimony that Mnangagwa was unelectable. Buses were sent throughout Harare to pick up people but they still snubbed,” said a top Zanu PF official yesterday evening.