AS journalists negotiated the bumpy gravel road from Harare to Gijima Grounds in Goromonzi North on Thursday, they were expecting a bumper crowd to be addressed by National Constitution Assembly (NCA) leader Lovemore Madhuku.
Madhuku is one of the 12 presidential candidates.
A professor of law, Madhuku transformed NCA from a civic organisation lobbying for a new national Constitution in a political party when the current Constitution came into place in 2013.
Dubbed the presidential star rally, the posters for the gathering started circulating on social media on Monday, giving hope that this would be a well-mobilised rally.
At mid-noon, only a sizeable crowd of less than 100 people had turned up for the rally and the hired disc jockey wasted no time belting out some of the latest songs from popular musicians in this entertainment-starved rural area.
Even the promise of a meaty lunch prepared for the attendees could not woo huge numbers.
Madhuku arrived at the venue at 1307 hours, welcomed by chants from his faithful followers.
To his credit, the veteran lawyer did not let the poor attendance dampen his spirit.
In a fired up address, Madhuku said the problems bedevilling the country emanates from the 2013 Constitution.
He reiterated the need to review the 2013 national Constitution, which he said was a compromise document agreed between the late former President Robert Mugabe and the then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, also late.
“In Zimbabwe, we have a political constitution negotiated by politicians from the Zanu PF and MDC,” Madhuku said. “The Constitution is not people-driven. It also gives too much power to the Executive and it creates problems for the people.”
Madhuku also criticised Zanu PF, saying it had failed to deliver on its promises to the people of Zimbabwe.
He said Zanu PF was a corrupt and incompetent government which has only enriched its leaders at the expense of the people.
“If you need this country to be ruled effectively, people should vote (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa and Zanu PF out of power as they have failed to deliver their promises.
“Zanu PF rallies are just platforms to showcase State resources and further expose Mnangagwa, whose party has been in power for 43 years doing nothing while people are struggling to get basic healthcare,” Madhuku said.
He said NCA candidates were committed to prosperity and constitutionalism, and that they would work to improve the lives of Goromonzi residents.
Madhuku said the NCA candidates were not corrupt and they would use their positions to serve the people, not themselves.
Madhuku then endorsed NCA candidate Agnes Dube for the Goromonzi Town Council seat.
“Goromonzi residents should vote for NCA council candidate Dube and seek a government that cherishes prosperity and constitutionalism and also remember to vote for Madhuku, who will be among the 11 presidential candidates on the ballot paper on August 23,” he said.
Madhuku contested in the 2018 presidential race against his erstwhile benefactor Mnangagwa, who has gifted him with a vehicle, among other trinkets, for his role in the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) platform.
Polad is a grouping of 2018 presidential aspirants grouped at the behest of Mnangagwa couched as a political negotiating platform.
Despite his unwavering determination to land the presidency, he fared dismally in past plebiscites, while NCA candidates have failed to land even a single local authority or a parliamentary seat.