BY Fredrick Ngugi, 1:00pm May 26, 2016,

“I am not a Yankee”: President Mugabe Promises Supporters He is Not Going Anywhere

Tens of thousands of Mugabe supporters march in show of support for Mugabe. Photo (www.csmonitor.com)

In an attempt to dispel fears that Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF is losing ground, tens of thousands of President Robert Mugabe supporters marched in Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday as the world marked Africa Day.

Marchers from all over Zimbabwe were ferried to the country’s capital to participate in the walk, dubbed “One Million Man March” in a show of solidarity and support for Mugabe’s bid to run for office in the election, according to ASBC News.

The march was organized by ZANU-PF’s youth, who praised President Mugabe in songs and chants as they meandered along the streets of Harare before gathering at a central square where Mugabe addressed them.

“We are here to tell everyone that the youth league is 100 percent behind comrade Mugabe’s leadership,” one demonstrator was quoted by AFP.

“Comrade Mugabe is not sick, people lie,” the youth proclaimed in defense of the 92-year-old President, who has declared his intent to run for another term in 2018.  Mugabe has been the president of Zimbabwe since 1980.

For decades, Zimbabwe’s electoral process has been characterized by alleged political violence and election malpractices. Many have accused Zimbabwe’s security agents of brutalizing civilians, primarily opposition supporters and aid workers.

Mugabe’s Fiery Speech

Accompanied by his wife Grace, Mugabe did not mince his words as he attacked the “outsiders” saying he is not going to give in to their calls for him to relinquish power.

“I belong to my people. My people say stay here. I am not a Briton. I don’t like to be an American. Am not a Yankee, so they say I must go,” Mugabe said.

The controversial president reiterated that he is at the service of the people of Zimbabwe, and until such a time when Zimbabweans will tell him to go, he is not going anywhere.

“Tell the paper that Robert Mugabe says no,  you go hang!” Mugabe told off his opponents.

Addressing the mammoth crowd in Harare yesterday, Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe reportedly bestowed accolades upon her husband, even declaring that President Mugabe is irreplaceable and will continue to lead Zimbabwe even from the grave.

“You are irreplaceable. We will make you our leader even in your grave at the hero’s acre,” the controversial first lady said.

Signs of Violence in 2018 Elections

Political observers have warned of impeding violence in Zimbabwe ahead of 2018 elections. This comes amid an apparent escalation of inter-party animosity between Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe’s main opposition party MDC.

In a recent interview with Voice of America, MDC’s spokesman Obert Gutu said:

“We are serious[ly] concerned by the spike in incidents of political violence. The next election is only coming in 2018 and there are increasing cases of violence. What happens as we get close to the election? People will be murdered.”

A month ago, a section of ZANU-PF leaders allegedly threatened to kill Zimbabweans who attended opposition rallies.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 19, 2018

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