The day Bulawayo turned red, yellow, green, white and black
Raymond Jaravaza, Saturday Chronicle
THE day President Mnangagwa took office, he made a bold statement that Zimbabwe is in safe hands and business as the country knew it would change.
And so much has changed.
For the first time in the country’s history, Bulawayo hosted the Independence Day Celebrations last year and the President was there in person to preside over the national event.
Bulawayo, the city aptly called KoNtuthu ziyathunqa because of its history as the country’s industry and manufacturing hub, was turned yellow, red, green, white and black — the national flag colours.
A few weeks before the City of Kings turned into a sea of colours — in celebration of Zimbabwe’s birth as a sovereign and free country that was no longer under the shackles of colonial rule — the President made his devolution dreams a reality.
Devolution — a fundamental plank in alleviating poverty and regional inequalities under the leadership of President ED — is now a reality. Take for instance the first day Bulawayo turned into a colourful city, a city that embraced the birth and existence of the country.
President Mnangagwa was there and Chronicle was there to document the birth of a new era.
“Recently, Cabinet resolved that this year’s 42nd Independence Day Celebrations will be held in Bulawayo. This landmark event will be the first to be held outside Harare since Independence which is testimony that Zanu-PF is walking the talk with regards to devolution and the realisation of development that leaves no one and no place behind,” President Mnangagwa said back then.
“Cabinet reports that the 2022 Children’s Party and the 42nd Anniversary Independence Day Celebration will, for the first time in the history of the nation, be held in Bulawayo on the 17th and 18th April 2022, respectively under the theme ‘Zim@ 42 — Leaving no one and no place behind.’ This is in line with the Second Republic’s drive towards the promotion of national unity, devolution and decentralisation.
Since Zimbabwe attained self-rule, the national event of the Independence Day celebrations were held in Harare at the National Sports Stadium. The Second Republic has changed that. Bulawayo was the first province to get a piece of the Independence Day cake. This year, Mashonaland Central will host the celebrations in Mt Darwin.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing recently, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa revealed that the Children’s party will also be held a day before at Mt Darwin Centre.
“The venue of the 2023 Children’s Party and Independence Day Celebrations on 17 and 18 April will be Mt Darwin Centre, in Mashonaland Central Province. The decentralisation of this august national event is in line with the Second Republic’s devolution agenda, and the ethos of ‘Leaving No One and No Place Behind.’
“Mt Darwin is important and entrenched in the annals of the country’s liberation history since it was the entry point for both the Zimbabwe National Liberation Army (Zanla) and the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) as they launched an offensive into the Front when the liberation struggle entered its decisive phase,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.