PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnagagwa was on Saturday left a relieved man after thousands of people from Mashonaland East province thronged Mahusekwa Growth Point where he addressed a rally that coincided with the official opening of Mahusekwa District Hospital.

In the recent past, Mnangagwa had been forced to address a handful of people, with MDC feasting on the development which they claimed showed that he lacked legitimacy.

But, at the weekend, an estimated 6 000 people attended Mnangagwa’s rally, prompting the Zanu PF leader, who is facing a growing internal dissent to his rule, to grovel over the respectable attendance.

“I came here for the official opening of this hospital at the invitation of (Health) minister Obadiah Moyo, but was told that the Zanu PF family wants to meet me. I want to thank you for the love you have exhibited. I also want to thank you for the massive numbers here,” Mnangagwa said.

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Last month, Mnangagwa was forced to abandon addressing a rally in Bindura after a handful of people showed up.

He proceeded to officiate at a graduation ceremony at Bindura University of Science Education after State security details pulled down a podium mounted for him at the flopped rally. This was a month after the same Mashonaland Central snubbed his wife, First Lady Auxilia’s family fun day at Chipadze Stadium.

On October 25, the Zanu PF leader failed to attract masses to fill the giant 60 000-seater National Sports Stadium (NSS) for a march against sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

Only about 7 000 people attended the anti-sanctions march despite bountiful of buses and trains having been lined up to ferry people from across the country. The NSS attendance was ironically almost the same number of people the Zanu PF leader addressed in Mahusekwa. Zanu PF Mashonaland East youth league led by Kelvin Mutsvairo and political commissar Lincoln Matare were involved in mobilising party supporters to travel to Mahusekwa to meet Mnnagagwa.