70 000 people expected for Independence celebrations

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

70 000 people expected for Independence celebrations

Tadious Manyepo in MURAMBINDA

MORE than 70 000 people are expected to make their way to Murambinda B High School on Thursday for the country’s 44th national Independence celebrations.

This year’s commemorations will be held in this part of Manicaland Province, in line with the Second Republic’s devolution thrust and the mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.

In the past, Harare hosted the annual national festivities but President Mnangagwa has directed that commemorations be rotated across different provinces, in the process making sure that citizens in all parts of the country get to enjoy legacy projects that come with staging the main celebrations.

As is now the tradition, President Mnangagwa will host a Children’s Party on April 17, the eve of Independence Day.

This year’s theme is, “Unity, Peace and Development Towards Vision 2030”.

The Independence Flame was last Friday taken to Rusape, where it was lit by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga during a ceremony held at Magamba District Heroes Acre (Butcher site). From Rusape, the Independence Flame will be taken to Nyanga, Mutasa (Matumba Six Shrine), Mutare Provincial Heroes Acre, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Buhera.

Thereafter it will be taken by torchbearers to the main venue on April 18, where the President will address the nation.

Already, a minimum of 1 000 local people from Murambinda and surrounding areas have been employed and are working at the venue of the celebrations as brick-layers, electricians, plumbers and general hands.

The Murambinda project manager, who is also the infrastructure co-ordinator in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Engineer Ackim Marivara, said they have set up the venue in such a way that it can accommodate between 60 000 and 70 000 people.

“We have finished the setting up of this year’s venue for the main independence celebrations at Murambinda B High School,” said Eng Marivara.

“Manicaland Province requested us to prepare a place that can house between 60 000 and 70 000 people. We have done just that and we can assure you that those numbers can attend the main celebrations and comfortably enjoy the proceedings.

“We are putting the final touches and the aesthetics at the moment but basically, we are done in terms of putting together the place for the celebrations.”

Sports and Recreation Commission Manicaland Coordinator, Mr Shupikai Berejena, confirmed that at least 1 000 local people had been employed as part of the workforce preparing the facility to host the celebrations.

“About 1 000 people drawn from the local community have been directly employed in the independence project. We have been working well with them and we are very happy,” said Mr Berejena.

One of those employed in the project, Mr Brian Mukanda, hailed the Government for decentralising the main independence celebrations.

“I am a bricklayer and I am mostly doing it as and when I get contracts, which are few and far between in this part of the country.

“But I have been engaged and I am earning decently, thanks to President Mnangagwa’s decision to rotate independence celebrations. I am very grateful. The benefits that come with your area hosting national events like these are massive. Some of us are directly employed but you also look at those benefiting secondarily. It’s all positive,” he said.

The celebrations will be marked by different activities as the country marks 44 years since Zimbabwe successfully shook off the yoke of bondage from white minority rule.

The country’s two biggest football teams, Dynamos and Highlanders, will square off for the President’s Independence Trophy honours to wrap up the day.

Last year’s national celebrations were held at Mt Darwin High School in Mashonaland Central, with over 40 000 people in attendance.