Pamela Shumba/Walter Mswazie/Thupeyo Muleya, Chronicle Reporters
ZIMBABWE today celebrates 38 years of Independence from British colonial rule with Zanu-PF yesterday calling on all patriots to uphold and cherish the values that sprung from the liberation struggle.
The party’s secretary for information and publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said Independence Day was not only important to Zanu-PF but to all Zimbabweans.
“On the 18th of April, the nation celebrates one of the most important days on the national calendar, the day on which we, the great people of Zimbabwe attained nationhood.
“With that in mind, the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, Politburo, Central Committee and the party as a whole wish to congratulate the people of Zimbabwe on the 38th anniversary of independence,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
He said this year’s independence celebrations were historic, as they come at a time when the nation is celebrating not only the attainment of independence, but also the ushering in of the new political dispensation led by President Mnangagwa.
“The independence we celebrate today came through the supreme and priceless sacrifices of many fine men and women who perished in the struggle in countless battles fought both within and outside our borders, and therefore it should be celebrated by all Zimbabweans irrespective of political, racial or religious divide, in peace and unity.
“We also, of course are aware that the struggle was led by two erstwhile liberation armies, Zanla and Zipra. As the nation reflects on the attainment of its nationhood, we also extend special gratitude towards the immense contribution of all those who assisted us to attain our freedom and independence. We owe them eternal gratitude,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
He added that the party was pleased with the progress being made by the new dispensation, which has seen rapid results within a short space of time.
“The re-engagements efforts, being pursued with the international community present a bright future for our beloved country. Under the ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ mantra, foreign direct investment has started flowing into the country.
“As we approach the elections, we call upon Zimbabweans as a collective to shun violence so that the goal of peace, free, fair and credible elections is achieved,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
In Bulawayo province, all roads lead to White City Stadium, where Minister of State for Bulawayo provincial affairs Cde Angeline Masuku, will lead the celebrations.
In Matabeleland South the main independence commemorations will be held at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda, where the Minister of State for provincial affairs, Cde Abedinico Ncube will lead the celebrations.
Cde Ncube yesterday said a lot of ground had been covered in terms of preparations and that they were expecting a huge crowd.
He said those who will fail to make it to Gwanda, will converge at various centres in all the province’s seven districts.
“All has been set and we are calling on people to gather at all the identified venues as we celebrate the country’s independence under a new political dispensation led by President Mnangagwa. It’s high time we worked together as Zimbabweans to promote unity and national economic development to consolidate the gains of our hard-won independence from minority rule.
“In addition, I want to urge all the citizens to rally behind President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF in the forthcoming harmonised elections,” said Cde Ncube.
In Masvingo, the provincial event would be at Mucheke Stadium, with the uniformed forces ready to entertain the crowd.
A visit to Mucheke Stadium yesterday revealed that the uniformed forces who were perfecting their art and setting the tone for today’s celebrations.
Provincial administrator, Mr Fungai Mbetsa said Masvingo could not wait for the significant day, as everything was in place for the occasion which was likely to draw people from all walks of life, to mark the day the country was liberated.
He said the event was promising to be bigger and better given the zeal that people had, as result of the new dispensation.
“This year’s independence celebrations will be like the one in 1980 when we conquered the oppressors. We expect the stadium to be a full house.
“If you are in Masvingo and not found at Mucheke tomorrow, I do not think, you will have any other day when you will be happy because this is day that God chose for the people of Zimbabwe,” said Mr Mbetsa.
He added that Masvingo Minister of State for provincial affairs, Senator Josaya Hungwe, will lead the celebrations.