'White interface' rally triggers storm

HARARE - Picture this: When President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses rallies in most parts of Zimbabwe, there are dozens of security personnel around him armed with guns.

His supporters spend long hours, waiting for his arrival and after he has delivered his speech, they troop back to their homes without “putting anything in their mouths” (eating).

Saturday’s interface meeting with the white community in Harare was a rally with a difference.

His audience was served with tea, scones and biscuits.

Security was not tight, and he could freely mix and mingle with his guests.

Indeed, the former Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe legislator is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to secure the ticket to State House if the five-star treatment accorded whites on Saturday is anything to go by.

With just a few days before the make-or-break polls next Monday, Mnangagwa did not disappoint his audience either, as he gave them some “take-away” in the form of assurances that those who want to pursue their dreams in Zimbabwe were free to do so.

But Zimbabweans have reacted with great amusement at how the president pampered his audience when he has never done the same with the majority.

It was racist, some alleged.

Twitter went ablaze with posts branding the president a “man suffering from inferiority complex”.

As usual, former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo could not be left out in hurling barbs at the president.

A fierce critic of the Zanu PF leader, who came to power through a soft coup, Moyo likened Mnangagwa’s “all whites rally” with the apartheid era in South Africa when people were padlocked according to their race.

“Throwback to Abel Muzorewa’s Zimbabwe-Rhodesia: Sights from Mnangagwa’s two apartheid-style rallies, for “povo” at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera a “whites interface” with tea, biscuits and muffins at Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare. In 2018 it’s inclusive politics stupid!” Moyo wrote on micro-blogging platform, Twitter.

“Mnangagwa’s apartheid-style ‘White People Rally’ featuring scones, jam and biscuits is an absolute disgrace. We have an ideologically bankrupt president. White people are cringing. Black people are cringing. These primitive men are stuck in the past,” Moyo added.

A few minutes later, Mnangagwa, who has at his disposal State resources, including helicopters, was in Marondera and there he did not mingle with the people.

Instead, every soul who had come to listen to his election promises was subjected to a thorough search.

There was no tea, not even bread — only tight security.

One journalist expressed his amusement on twitter over Mnangagwa’s treatment of his kith and kin compared to the whites.

“At the ‘Whites Only’ rally in Borrowdale, something unusual happened. Emmerson Mnangagwa stood up to mingle with his white guests, on top of serving tea. A message was sent out: I feel safer with this lot,” tweeted the journalist.

Perhaps there is a method to the approach, after all Zanu PF, the party that now Mnangagwa leads has always been accused of racism.

In his message posted on Facebook, the former Speaker of Parliament said he wants unity among all Zimbabweans.

“Today, in Harare and Marondera, we talked about our concrete plan for infrastructure, agriculture, energy and jobs, which will create real and sustainable growth for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.

“I also explained how peace, love, unity and mutual respect are vital for us to move forward and fulfil our national destiny.

“This is something we must all remember as we approach the elections.

“Step by step, we are building a new, prosperous and stable Zimbabwe for all,” said Mnangagwa.

His critics are, however, not amused.

Some say his politics is divisive given that he once had an all Asian interface meeting.

“From all white parties by young looters to all white rallies by racist presidential candidate where tea and cake is served by blacks. Edu maRally ndiwo ekuhuruva,” Sydney Chasi an MDC activist wrote on Facebook.

Another man tweeted, “Zanu PF rally for whites versus for blacks. Tea served at a white rally versus air pies for the hungry blacks. Why discriminate people of your own colour.”

While academic and journalist Zenzele Ndebele said what is good for the goose must also be good for the gander.

“If Mnangagwa can hold a whites interface rally why can’t he hold a Ndebele interface rally and apologise for Gukurahundi,” said Ndebele.

Mnangagwa has refused to apologise for the Gukurahundi atrocities saying it is now in the past but at his interface rally with the whites he was at pains to explain the land reform programme that saw most whites losing their land, he did not apologise.

Alex Magaisa, a former advisor of the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai drew parallels between the racist Rhodesian government and Mnangagwa.

“Tea and cake, anyone? I wonder whose bright idea this was. Did they also remember to tell Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to prepare the White Roll like in 1980?” queried Magaisa.

Comments (15)

the president held an interface with women across the political divide he sat among women misihairambwi commended, the borrowdale crowd was small easy to manage

john - 23 July 2018

What a pathetic and ridiculous comment. If he can't do it for the blacks he should not do it for white people, plain and simple. It simply shows that Munangagwa and zanu pf are not and have never been politicians but opportunists. Its a shame. That generation will never change its attitude towards its colonial masters.

nhemacena - 23 July 2018

What a shame that these Rhodesian sell outs gathered in masses to lick boots of an illegal and ruthless zanu pf coup leader. Shame on you all.

Ken Sharpe - 24 July 2018

in zimbabwe we have black racist zimbabwe is not only for blacks black people must stop oppressing the white community among them and embrace CHINESE who are destroying industries in africa by bringing fake goods they have destroyed the textile in south africa our embrace all whites are part of zim

david - 24 July 2018

Did they not supply their own tea and scones?

sipendu - 24 July 2018

KKKKKKK anhu aya azopererwa manje, hapana kana nyaya apa, by the way who provided the teas?

sam mapoka - 24 July 2018

If one is familiar with Whites' gatherings, be it at School or Church functions, you will be aware that they bring in their own Tea, biscuits, cake, soft drinks and such. Why do people like to raise a storm in a tea cup? And about mingling with the crowd, he would do the same at his rural home or anywhere else where the crowd is small and contollable.

GoldFinger - 24 July 2018

Goldfinger you are right. I wonder why the report didn't bother to find out why does vanongonyora zvavari kuona without an investigative approach....news is what you are seeing. The whites wanted it to be a different and they funded for their tea. Imi majaira kupiwa chete...this begging DNA is reducing us, a cup of tea represents a lot socially, it means your are welcome, you are a friend, let us dialogue etc. It's not food, mavekufunga kuti ordinary people vakanyimwa chikafu.....Oh My God!

Dzokha - 24 July 2018

We have our African drink equivalent to tea,mahewu which is cheaper than ice cream that everyone can have a share at rallies.

muchemwa - 24 July 2018

It is a pity about the racist comments posted here. You are comparing mbambaira with McDonalds. Was it the President who served tea and scones or the white community who served the eats. Kwatakendesawo vana vedu kuskuru taipavo vauya tea nemaskones. Ukauya kumba kwedu haubude usina kunwa kana mvura chaiyo. UKAMA IGASVA HUNOZADZIKISWA NEKUDYA. We commend the President for meeting a largely ostracised group during the Mugabe regime. And we know the Gukurahundi issue will be addressed - the nation needs wisdom and consultation to address this dark period in our nation's history. Let us build our nation instead of throwing stones at everyone who is not of your grouping. All political parties, tribes, races have apart to play in rebuilding our nation. The more we interact and cross pollinate ideas the further these divisions of politics, tribe, race etc should and must fade away. Our nation, future generations deserve better. God help us.

Daniel 5 - 24 July 2018

It is a pity about the racist comments posted here. You are comparing mbambaira with McDonalds. Was it the President who served tea and scones or the white community who served the eats. Kwatakendesawo vana vedu kuskuru taipavo vauya tea nemaskones. Ukauya kumba kwedu haubude usina kunwa kana mvura chaiyo. UKAMA IGASVA HUNOZADZIKISWA NEKUDYA. We commend the President for meeting a largely ostracised group during the Mugabe regime. And we know the Gukurahundi issue will be addressed - the nation needs wisdom and consultation to address this dark period in our nation's history. Let us build our nation instead of throwing stones at everyone who is not of your grouping. All political parties, tribes, races have apart to play in rebuilding our nation. The more we interact and cross pollinate ideas the further these divisions of politics, tribe, race etc should and must fade away. Our nation, future generations deserve better. God help us.

Daniel 5 - 24 July 2018

Huyayi kwedu va Puresidhendi muzowona kuti zvinofamba seyi - muchipinda , 25miles dzetara yakanaka naka isina makomba , tinoku sarutai. Moswera muchitamba gorofu nekunwa ma penfold , makeke , ma bhisikitsi anogadzirwa paruzevha...musazoti ma cartwright and butler....ruzivo rwevanhu vatema , ne jamu rinogadzirwa ku neshamwari Toro rinonaka zvekuti huyayi muwone vashe. Kurima ishungu akati ambuya vangu pagedhe repapurazi 1974.

Kedu kedu - 24 July 2018

You cant lure whites with tea and scones. They are the inventors of scones and tea. Chedu imbwirembwire.

Chipoto vhaivhai - 24 July 2018

Ngativakeyi zvikoro , zvipatara , nemigwagwa yakanaka kwese. Ndokutiwo tigonwawo tea ne zvinonakirira nguva dzese , kwete mupoto hayi nemahewu. Ma Rhodesians anoti ndiwo akaivaka zimbabwe , true. Kudzidza harizi bhuku , mawoko nekufunga zvinoyevedza. Kana tisati tasvika pavakasiyira , hatisati tadzidza. Varungu ava vanofanirawo kuuya kumisha yedu kuzorara kana kudya....havakwanise kwamereki kana kwa Amai Harivire

kedu kedu - 24 July 2018

The Chinese invented TEA. Vashe musatinyadzise. Chake murungu kuba ruzivo uzvichinja.

Kedu kedu - 24 July 2018

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