21st Feb Movement preps in shambles

.......as Harare, Mutare fight for control

Preparations for the 21st February Movement Bash are in shambles as there seems to be a tug of war between Harare and Mutare over the set venue and date for the gala.

The 21st Movement Bash has been set for Chipinge Primary School in Chipinge district on March 3 – a week after President Robert Mugabe's official birthday commemorations at Sakubva Stadium on February 25.

According to sources privy to the provincial meetings, tempers have flared during most preparatory gatherings as there are fears that decision makers in Harare will bypass all preparations done by the hosting province.

The general feeling is that unlike Mutare which is a central point, Chipinge is too far and other districts such as Rusape, Nyanga, Mutasa and Makoni might not be able to travel up to the proposed venue due to the distance factor.

Sources privy to the meetings also disclosed that local organisers have queried the move to hold the bash a week after the Sakubva celebrations as the moral would have died down amongst revellers.

It was also argued during the meetings that the set venue has no capacity to accommodate many people unlike Sakubva Stadium which has a 15 000 plus sitting capacity.

"Chipinge Primary (School) is just not the ideal place to hold an event of such a high magnitude. Very few people will be able to make it since we are looking at other districts such as Makoni, Rusape, Nyanga and Mutasa. The school cannot accommodate a lot of people let alone as compared to Sakubva Stadium (Mutare) which is more spacious and central unless the organisers in Harare want to make it a small thing," said the source.

The source added, "Harare should stop taking overshadowing us (Manicaland).

As the hosting province we should be on the forefront as far as the planning of the event is concerned. This is creating confusions and tension between the two provinces."

The confusion has affected moral amongst local musicians who were promised to perform at the gala in their numbers. The recent proposed line up of performing acts only feature three active musicians – Blessing Shumba, Agatha Murudzwa and Juicer Mpostori. This is contrary to the 20 plus singers that had been promised to take to the stage.

This has prompted musicians in Mutare with the backing of a political hand to stage their own bash immediately after the birthday commemorations on February 25 – a move that will bring more friction between the two cities.

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