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Electric atmosphere as Zim marks 42 years of Uhuru

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Electric atmosphere as Zim marks 42 years of Uhuru

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An electric atmosphere engulfed the country yesterday as Zimbabweans in the broad totality celebrated the country’s 42nd Independence anniversary.

While the main celebrations were in Bulawayo for the first time since 1980, other parts of the country had celebrations.

In Matabeleland South and North the masses celebrated the country’s 42nd Independence in unison.

In Harare, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Oliver Chidawu led the celebrations at Glamis Arena where hundreds of residents converged.

He started by inspecting the guard of honour. He then read the President’s speech.

Entertainment from the police band and Madzibaba Nicholas Zakaria, among many others, kept people on their feet.

Residents interviewed said Independence Day was an important part of every Zimbabwean’s life because it symbolises the freedom being enjoyed by everyone.

Said Mr Richard Sande: “I am happy to be here today and I even brought my family so that we can celebrate this day together. People misunderstand the meaning of Independence Day and they think it is a political event, but that is not right.

“It is a day that should bring all Zimbabweans together. It should inspire even the young people and make them patriotic.”

Mrs Mavenia Nyakunika, a former war collaborator, said the day always reminded her of the journey they walked with freedom fighters to ensure Zimbabwe became free.

“Independence is important because we are now free due to the sacrifices made by freedom fighters. We suffered at the hands of the colonisers but now we are able to go about our lives without any discrimination,” she said.

Mr Welldone Mukurunge said Zimbabweans celebrate Independence day and recognise the struggle that “our forefathers went through so that we got Independence”.

“This day means a lot to us and as you can see, young people are now appreciating that which our forefathers fought for and they appreciate the efforts of our freedom fighters,” he said.

In Masvingo, thousands of people thronged Mucheke Stadium to join the rest of the country in celebrating the 42th Independence anniversary amid pomp and fanfare.

Proceedings to mark the historic day started in the morning with detachments from ZNA 4 Brigade, ZRP and ZPCS marching from Chikato Police station to the stadium.

At the stadium, the security services constituted a parade and thereafter service chiefs and senior Government officials arrived, preceding the arrival of Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira.

Minister Chadzamira inspected the parade before reading the Presidential speech. The crowd was then entertained by ZCC Mutendi band and the ZPCS band.

Popular Masvingo musician, Baba Rah, also dished out a polished performance that captivated the crowd.

In the afternoon festivities continued with a soccer match pitting Masvingo United and Simba Bhora.

The celebrations were attended by Zanu PF Politburo member Cde Paul Mangwana, Masvingo Zanu PF provincial chairman Cde Robson Mavhenyengwa, Minister of State for Special Agricultural Programmes Davis Marapira, Masvingo mayor Collins Maboke and Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs Dr Jefter Sakupwanya, among others.

In Mashonaland West, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, inspected the guard of honour and read President Mnangagwa’s speech at the main event held at Gadzema Stadium

Various activities were lined up at the main event including horse-riding by the Crocodile Band, an outfit from Inkomo’s Mechanised Brigade, to entertain the fully packed stadium.

Members from the Nigerian, Tanzanian and Zambian armies currently attending courses at the Zimbabwe Staff College, joined the celebrations at Chinhoyi yesterday.

In Zvimba North Constituency, celebrations were held at Katawa Shopping Centre, where local legislator, who is also Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Marian Chombo graced the event and read the President’s speech.

In Makonde district, a soccer match between Dynamos FC and Harare City select teams was scheduled to spice up the event, while the main event was at Murereka in Lions Den, where area legislator, Cde Precious Chinhamo Masango read the Presidential speech.

In Matabeleland South, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Abednico Ncube, led the proceedings in Gwanda where he also read President Mnangagwa’s speech.

Scores of people turned up at Pelandaba Stadium in the provincial capital, Gwanda.

Those, who failed to travel to Gwanda gathered at various centres in all the seven administrative districts.

In Beitbridge, people gathered at the Dulivhadzimu Stadium where the District Development Coordinator Mrs Sikhangazile Mafu officiated.

Scores of people braved the chilly weather and converged at the stadium, while the majority of the town’s residents travelled to witness the historic national event in Bulawayo.

Beitbridge East legislator, Cde Albert Nguluvhe, who also attended the Dulivhadzimu proceedings, noted with concern the conspicuous absence of opposition politicians at most State functions.

“We may differ on political ideologies but let’s celebrate together that which binds us together as Zimbabweans,” he said.

The crowd was treated to song and dance, a soccer match between Dulivhadzimu FC Under 19 vs CM15 Academy, and a netball tournament held at St Mary’s High School.

Loads of entertainment activities were lined up including contemporary music, poetry, dance, drum majorettes and the army band, among others.

The celebrations marked a significant milestone as the country continues to work towards attaining Vision 2030 through the completion of various development projects including the long outstanding construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam.

The province, which is gold rich, contributed 62 percent of gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners in 2021. Ms Sithokozile Nare from Jahunda Township in Gwanda said she was excited to be part of the celebrations as they were an opportunity to reflect on how far the country had come since in 1980.

“People are excited not because of the activities being done here but because of how far we have come as a country.

“It was a hard-won independence and we should always guard it jealously. Our children should also be taught about its importance,” said Ms Nare.

Mr Kevin Muleya, who travelled all the way from Beitbridge to be part of the main provincial celebrations said there was no looking back for the country as it inches closer to being an upper middle-income society by 2030.

People from all walks of life attended the celebrations together with service chiefs, politicians from various political parties, former ministers and legislators.

In Matabeleland North, the provincial celebrations were held at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane.

Scores of people from across the province attended and some hawkers took advantage of the crowd to do business and sold different kinds of foodstuffs. Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Richard Moyo, arrived in Lupane and immediately went for a briefing with service chiefs and other stakeholders before going to the venue at 11:40am.

Official proceedings started with the singing of the national anthem before Minister Moyo inspected the independence parade mounted by officers from the ZNA, ZRP and ZPCS.

A ZPCS brass band as well as a local poet popularly known as Umfana KaGogo provided entertainment.

Director of Local Government in Matabeleland North Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution’s Office, Mr Tapera Mugoriya, said the province should take note of projects being undertaken by the Second Republic.

He said civil servants in the province will make sure the projects were implemented. Before reading President Mnangagwa’s speech, Minister Moyo thanked the President for holding this year’s Independence celebrations outside Harare for the first time.

“We say congratulations to ourselves as we have attained 42 years of Independence. Let’s us feel free. This is the first time the celebrations are being held outside Harare and are being hosted by the second biggest city of Bulawayo. We thank President Mnangagwa for this,” he said, before reading the speech.

In the Midlands, hundreds of people thronged Mkoba Stadium for the provincial independence festivities.

The commemorations officially started immediately after the arrival of Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Larry Mavima, just after 11am.

He immediately inspected the parade, before reading the President’s speech. The crowds were entertained by a number of groups which included officers from the uniformed force such as the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) and police.

Crowds were also treated to an array of mass displays. Musician, Chief Hwenje of the popular EDpfee song, was part of artistes on Zimbabwe’s big day. In Mashonaland Central, the main celebrations were in Bindura where thousands of people who thronged Chipadze Stadium.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Monica Mavhunga, presided over the celebrations. Minister Mavhunga who spent the day at Chipadze Stadium and watched a soccer match between Cellphone Giants and Rumike Engineering football clubs.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, who is also the ZANU PF provincial Women’s League chairperson Cde Tsitsi Gezi, Bindura mayor Brian Kembo, former Cabinet minister Cde Lazarus Dokora, Rushinga legislator Tendai Nyabani and service chiefs, among others, attended the celebrations.

Across Harare, ordinary people joined the rest of the country in celebrating of Independence at various places. Traders said they enjoyed brisk business especially restaurants, bars, and florists as people took time to remember their loved ones who passed away.

A Warren Park resident, Mrs Angelika Mumba, said: “I am grateful for what our President is doing for us. He is working very hard in the quest to develop our country.

“We thank the President for advocating for fairness and equality in the development of the country as he continues to encourage Zimbabweans to work hard to ensure development.”

Mr Thompson Nyanyala, a florist said he enjoyed brisk business yesterday while Mr Blessed Masenda said he spent all of yesterday teaching his grandchildren about how Zimbabwe got Independence.

Mr Emmanuel Musarurwa said he was happy for the country reaching 42 years of independence.

“We are grateful to our freedom fighters who fought for the Independence we now have. After attaining Independence our Government encouraged us to be empowered.

“I wish people could come together and focus on the development of our country,” he said. Herald.

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