Thousands bussed in for Heroes’ Day

In a bid to give the impression that Zanu (PF) is popular with the electorate, the party bussed in thousands of supporters from surrounding farms for Heroes Commemorations at the national shrine in Harare on Monday.

Soldiers and policemen were ordered to bring their families to inflate the crowds.
Soldiers and policemen were ordered to bring their families to inflate the crowds.

To avoid public scrutiny of the bussing strategy, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company buses used to ferry the party sympathisers, dropped passengers behind the massive durawall at the nearby National Sports Stadium.

They then walked across the road to give the impression that they had arrived under their own steam. Some 3,000 people, including members from the defence forces, were transported by the ZUPCO buses. Others were ferried to the shrine by army, police and air force 65-seater buses.

Soldiers and police officers who spoke to The Zimbabwean on condition of anonymity, said it was a stage-managed commemoration as members of the defence forces, both in uniform and civilian clothing, sat in batches to give the impression that people had come out in large numbers. They had been instructed to bring their families.

“We have been provided with free transport to give a thunderous applause following President Mugabe and Zanu (PF) landslide victories over MDC,” said a woman who declined to be identified by name but was willing to have her photograph taken.

MDC-T did not attend the Heroes Commemorations in protest at Mugabe having “ stolen the recent election”.

Spokesperson for MDC-T, Douglas Mwonzora, said though his party respected the role played by the fallen heroes towards the attainment of Zimbabwe independence, there was no way MDC-T would attend celebrations officiated by an ‘illegitimate President’.

In his speech Mugabe promised exclusive empowerment programmes for dependents of the fallen heroes and promised a review of war veterans and ex-detainees monthly pensions “as a matter of urgency”.

Zimbabweans were urged to guard the country’s borders against possible foreign enemy intrusion and be on the watch out for puppets ‘in our midst’.

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