President Mugabe is now on the podium.
He pays tribute to the youth league for mobilising thousands of party supporters who have come to attend the meeting.
President Mugabe recognises the presence of various dignitaries present here at Rudhaka Grounds.
“As such, we agreed (me and Chipanga) to schedule a meeting for today.”
“These meetings are being done against the background of a Million Man March held last year. The youths said to me, President Mugabe, we travelled to meet you last year. This year, it’s your turn to visit us.
“Some of the people who thought I am finished were left wondering. The March left me walking proudly with hands in my pocket. They had thought since I am in my 90s I am now old to have people’s support. They were lost. They got the shock of their lives.”
President Mugabe says last year’s Million Man March shocked even the detractors.
“We received good rains and even those who did not take part in the command agriculture program are looking forward to a good harvest.”
He says command agriculture pleased even the heavens and floodgates of rains were opened.
President Mugabe says Zanu PF is a people’s party whose programmes are people centric like Command Agriculture.
“Media was coming up with all sort of conspiracy theories over the past few days. They even reported imaginary tension. Look at yourselves, are you fighting? NO.”
“When I was coming here, I thought I am coming to meet the people of Mashonaland East. I was shocked when I got here. I must say I am proud of you Zanu-PF youths.
His Excellency has spoken of his surprise when when he saw a sea of people gathered here.
If the programme is extended to wheat, we will have all the bread we want in the country, President Mugabe says.
“Now that command agriculture has given us good yields on grain crops, let us extend it to wheat,” he says.
“We want our youths to play a leading role. Now, I want young people to be given land.”
He has however bemoaned the exclusion of youths in these programmes.
“They must stop bickering as if Government never did anything for them. We did and we are still working on meeting their demands. We agreed that 20% of all the acquired land is reserved for veterans of the liberation struggle.
President Mugabe says when the country gained independence, War Veterans made their requests and they were given land.
Some of you are still single. Therefore, you can not productively till on your own. You need inputs too.”
“We are going to give our youths small pieces of land. We cannot give you large tracks of land because for now, you do not have the capacity to work on it.
“These were protected by former Minister of State for Mashonaland East, Ray Kaukonde. We are looking into the issue.”
President Mugabe says there are about 73 white farmers remaining in the province.
He has advised chiefs to be on the lookout for such people since they are the custodians of of land and the people.
According to President Mugabe, there are some people who got large pieces of land which they can’t utilise. Now, they are covertly subcontracting white farmers in return for a token of appreciation.
“We do not want people who do that. We are giving land to people so that they builds homes to stay. But, there are some who already have stands but still want to benefit. No, we are not going to allow that.”
President Mugabe says there are some greedy individuals who want to benefit from youth stands so that they sell later.
“Government is also working on repossession fallow land from those who have large farms and are not fully utilising them.”
President Mugabe says most farmers who left Zimbabwe moved northwards to Zambia. They are now farming there. It’s ok. Here we can do it ourselves. At some point, we all lived rural life. We lived difficult lives but it is what inspired us to fight land repossession because we were crammed in the reserves.”
“Some are saying let us exchange the button, we cannot continue being led by a Zezuru. We can’t operate like that.”
“Surprisingly, some seem to be pushing for that. No, we do not want that.
“Zanu PF as a party is a multi-ethnic revolutionary movement. We fought the struggle like that. We never bothered about one’s ethnicity. Are we still holding onto that? We have a principle of denouncing tribalism. As a party, we frown upon it.
He has urged those fomenting factionalism to STOP IT.
“The same applies, when Zanu was formed, people elected Ndabaningi Sithole to lead. He was later removed but he had been elected. We never looked at where one comes from.”
President Mugabe says when he came back from Ghana, he was seconded to UNDP and when election came, the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo was elected the leader.
President Mugabe has implored party members who are interested in positions to abide by the Party Constitution and wait for congress time.
President Mugabe says party members have an obligation to be humane and humble. Giving word of advise to the youths, he says promiscuity has broken many homes.
“Promiscuity, promiscuity has become a dangerous cancer in the homes. We hear stories of men who fall in love with other women more than they did with their wives. When you wedded your wife, had you not seen her weaknesses,” he quizzes.
“But for you young people, be faithful to your partners. We do not expect you to divorce in two years.”
He says, traditionally, Chiefs are known to be polygamous and it is said they manage the arrangement so well.
“Thank you very much for coming to spend the day with me here. Thank you for the respect you continue to bestow upon me. Your deeds are giving our detractors sleepless nights.”
President Mugabe has warned Cabinet and Politburo members against leaking closed door deliberations adding that those who are in the habit of doing so are not doing themselves and the party any good.