President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly shelved plans by the Zanu-PF youth league to march in support of his Presidency because of the astronomical budget put forward to ferry supporters from across the country amid reports that some within the ruling party fear the timing would be insensitive to the current challenges facing the nation.

The Zanu-PF solidarity march in support of President Mnangagwa was set to be held on March 2.

The Youth League mooted the march and will continue “spearheading” it, but the party’s secretary for the commissariat Engelbert Rugeje said it had been “upgraded to a national event” in a February 25 memo.

Youth League secretary Pupurai Togarepi has, however, thrown the rally into doubt after telling reporters on Tuesday that “we don’t have an event this weekend.”

“There are too many events that are happening, so we felt that this may overburden us,” Togarepi said. “Of course people are mobilising, they are ready to come but I think because of other commitments we would not able to do it. We will notify our members on the new date.”

This would be the second postponement of the event, which was originally slated for February 23.

Rugeje’s memo revealed that Zanu-PF planned to spend at least $500,000 on fuel alone organising the solidarity march with its leader.

The party set an ambitious target of bussing in 30,000 people from each province, which would see 300,000 people converge in Harare for the march.

Feeding the 300,000 people would cost in excess of $1 million, using conservative estimates.

Rugeje said provinces were “instructed” to hold provincial coordinating committee meetings to discuss “the need to mobilise adequate resources to transport a minimum 30,000 people from your province to Harare to participate in the Solidarity March with HE, the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa on March 2.”

While his department was organising a “feeding plan” for the delegates in Harare, “provinces are advised to feed the delegates before departure.”

The memo provided a breakdown of the fuel allocation for each province. The fuel amounted to 150,000 litres.

Norton MP Temba Mliswa (Independent), said: “Solidarity marches have no functional use in solving the challenges Zimbabwe is faced with. They failed to mobilise voters for Mnangagwa (during elections) but want to mobilise where there is no pressing need for such.”Newsday