Zanu-PF cancels welcome-home rally for President Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised a break with the past, which might explain why a rally organised to welcome him home was suddenly called off.

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa attends the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) on 24 January 2018 in Davos. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF has cancelled a welcome-home rally it had planned to hold at the country’s airport for President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa arrived back in Zimbabwe on Tuesday, a week after he left the country to attend the World Economic Forum and an African Union summit.

Airport rallies were a feature of former president Robert Mugabe’s rule, who was forced to resign in 2017 following military intervention.

Mnangagwa has promised a break with the past, which might explain why a rally organised to welcome him home was suddenly called off.

Zanu-PF youth leader Godwin Gomwe was quoted by local media apologising to supporters who had been mobilised to attend the rally at Robert Mugabe International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

Many Zimbabweans condemned Mugabe’s welcome-home rallies as a waste of resources.

Writing on Twitter, prominent church leader Shingi Munyeza congratulated the ruling party for stopping what he called an abusive practice.