Scores of Zanu-PF supporters started walking out of a a campaign rally in Mutare on Friday, before Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed them.
His deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, had to ask the supporters to remain seated since his boss had not yet addressed them.
“Your buses and trains are not going as yet, your transport is still here. So please, do not leave the venue as yet,” Chiwenga said.
“Can you remain seated please? National youth service, please stop them (supporters) from leaving.”
Mnangagwa, who came to power through a military coup and now popular for his “chicken dance” at rallies, had to cut short his speech due to light showers in the border town.
A few weeks back, Zanu-PF supporters also walked out on Mnangagwa as he was addressing a rally in Bindura.
The walk-outs are yet another indication that Zanu-PF’s formerly unshakable grip on power in Zimbabwe may be slipping. A poll released on Friday revealed Mnangagwa on 40 percent and Chamisa on 37 percent. The Afrobarometer poll said there was now a “reasonable possibility” the opposition champion could win after a spurt in popularity.