ZANU-PF bigwigs in Matabeleland North Province had to intervene last Friday to assist the Youth Wing raise money and other donations for the 21st February Movement celebrations to be held this Saturday in the resort town of Victoria Falls.The local fundraising sub-committee had told politburo members from the province — Jonathan Moyo, who is Secretary for Science and Technology, Obert Mpofu (Finance), Cain Mathema (Lands), Jacob Mudenda who is also Speaker of Parliament and Thokozile Mathuthu that out of the target of $80,000, they had only raised $4,800 cash and $27 worth of goods.
Following the intervention of the politburo members, a total of $80,000 was raised at the meeting as well as 30 head of cattle and game meat.
Mpofu chipped in with a timely donation of $40,000 plus fuel, Moyo donated 20 head of cattle and Mudenda donated two beasts.
Zanu-PF Matabeleland North Provincial Youth chairman Tamuka Nyoni said: “We set a budget of $80,000 as a province and so far $4,800 had reflected on the account. Before we came here we met Mpofu who gave us $10,000 transport and fuel. He has also deposited $30,000 into the account to make a total of $40,000. We’re grateful but we’re yet to get our target because we expect between 15,000 and 20,000 people to attend,” said Nyoni as he announced the donations.
Nyoni said goods worth $27,170 had been received. Local authorities from the seven districts Binga, Bubi, Hwange, Lupane, Nkayi, Tsholotsho and Umguza contributed a combined $4,056 while the pastors’ fraternity in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls donated $500 and $300 respectively.
The Zimbabwe Power Company raised $3,000 for the 29th edition of the celebrations initiated by the Youth Wing in 1986. The national organising committee set a budget of $1.2 million.
Hwange District Administrator Tapera Mugoriya, told the meeting that a total of 10 buffaloes had been pledged and four were coming from Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Gwayi.
He said 22 beasts were donated by Moyo and Mudenda while eight had been raised from other well-wishers together with two kudus. The target of five tonnes of maize meal has been reached after Matetsi Ward pledged four tonnes on Friday to add to one tonne of mealie-meal already donated.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has set aside $70,000 to cater for more than 130 children born on February 21.
The children will be flown from Bulawayo and Harare and arrive in Victoria Falls on Tuesday ahead of the party at Victoria Falls Farm School in the afternoon on Friday. Their accommodation has been provided by hotels and lodges through the Hotel Association of Zimbabwe. The main celebrations will be held at Elephant Hills Resort Gold Course before a gala in the evening at Chinotimba Stadium.
Addressing the meeting attended by party supporters and business executives. Provincial Minister of State Mathema said the celebrations were a state function that needed everyone’s cooperation.
“We’re here to help each other ahead of this huge event. So much work has to be done which is why we came to listen to committees as they give updates. Once the President comes for a function it becomes a State function. We’re all involved and let’s work together as civil servants and other structures,” he said.
He challenged the host province to lead by example and attend in numbers.
“Our plea to Matabeleland North Province is that since we’re expecting a huge crowd, let’s go and bring as many people as we can so that we celebrate together with the President. This is the first time President Mugabe is coming to Victoria Falls as AU chair and the first time the First Lady is coming as Secretary for Women’s Affairs so we’ve all the reasons to celebrate,” said cde Mathema.