0900: The statue of Mbuya Nehanda that President Mnangagwa will soon unveil at the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Julius Nyerere Way in Harare will be a monument that reminds us of how our forefathers resisted colonial conquest. Mbuya Nehanda personifies this early resistance. Putting up a statue of Mbuya Nehanda is, therefore, a national celebration of her courage and those who worked with her in a bid to defeat colonial occupation. The monument is a tribute to Mbuya Nehanda and the many other leaders of the First Chimurenga such as Chingaira Makoni, Mapondera, Chinengundu Mashayamombe, Chiwashira and others. Mkwati and Sekuru Kaguvi were the other spiritual leaders of the uprising and their participation in coordinating resistance in various communities is also celebrated in this monument- National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe executive director Dr Godfrey Mahachi.
0912: Why Nehanda Statue?
The need to have a monument of the First Chimurenga was based on that it is the First Chimurenga that inspired the Second. One cannot, therefore, talk about the Second Chimurenga without making reference to the First Chimurenga. The Upper Mazowe Valley otherwise more commonly referred to as Gomba from where Mbuya Nehanda operated during the uprisings was declared a national monument in 2007. This was an important step in the direction of officially recognizing the importance of Mbuya Nehanda in our national history, although other initiatives had already been taken by Government such as the renaming of streets and some public institutions-Dr Godfrey Mahachi, executive director of National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe
0956: President Mnangagwa has just arrived for the Mbuya Nehanda statue unveiling in Harare. He is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa.
1030: The Mbuya Nehanda statue is a strong, but very simple statement to the effect that the Zimbabwe which our forefathers defended by fighting the First Chimurenga was restored. Its back in the hands of the children of Zimbabwe. The statue is also a tribute to those who played defining roles in both the First and Second Chimurenga and, further, it’s a celebration of the bravery and leadership qualities that the women folk of this country, during the First and Second Chimurenga, practically exhibited.
The statue is indeed a significant construction because it carries different layers of meaning, all of which create a foundation on which peace, mutual understanding and that sense of national identity thrives.-Dr Mahachi
1031: Harare Provincial Affairs Minister Oliver Chidau now giving remarks.
“I might not fully understand the impact this occasion will have in the nation but I am sure that its significance is of monumental importance,” he says.
1048: Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe now on the podium.
1049: My ministry is delivering the mandate that you gave us. We are delivering a great monument in the history of our nation. We would risk condemnation from future generations if we fail to have monuments such as this one. It was not business as usual. The work ethic of the supervisor, VP Chiwenga, shows the kind of workmanship done here.-Minister Kazembe
1052: Our efforts to ensure that Mbuya Nehanda’s remains are returned to the country are at an advanced stage.-Minister Kazembe
He concludes his remarks.
1053: Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri now on stage.
1056: The Constitution of Zimbabwe clearly recognises the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Chimurenga/uMvukela. Today, under the Second Republic, you have made history by honouring our heroine Mbuya Nehanda
The menand women of Zimbabwe forever cherish our icon, her bravery and supreme contribution to the struggle for Zimbabwe.-Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
1057: She is now introducing VP Chiwenga.
1058: VP Chiwenga is now giving his remarks.
1102: My task today may be simple but one that I take with honour. The inspiration and decision to honour the country’s liberation icons is a noble undertaking.
There is no doubt that our heroines and heroes are an embodiment of Pan Africanism. The unveiling of this monument will inform Zimbabwe and Africa of the past, present and future. This should give us the strength never to go back or slide into neo-colonialism again.-VP Chiwenga
1106: He is now introducing President Mnangagwa.
1109: The authors of the book on Nehanda Nyakasikana titled “The ultimate sacrifice” have presented their book to President Mnangagwa.
1111: President Mnangagwa acknowledges receipt of the book. He says page 134 of the book has his ancestors who also fought against the white man. I am grateful for the gift, he says.
1114: President Mnangagwa now going up to unveil the statue.
1130: President Mnangagwa has officially unveiled the statue of Mbuya Nehanda in central Harare.
1131: Mbuya Stella Chiweshe now on stage, entertaining the crowd.
1136: President Mnangagwa is about to give his address.
1142: We are gathered at this historic site to witness the unveiling of the statue of our heroine. This befitting monument was log overdue. It is befitting that it is being unveiled on Africa Day-President Mnangagwa
1145: On behalf of Government and the people of Zimbabwe and on my own behalf, I congratulate the people of Africa. The pledges made by our founding fathers must persistently inspire us towards a nation where the potential of our people, particularly women are realised. Let no one ever patronise us in a manner or fashion that is against our vision. We are a proud people.-President Mnangagwa
1146: A continent that has awakened to a bright future. I commend the African Union through Africa CDC for the response to the Covid 19 pandemic. The African Union theme for the year is most welcome and provides a suitable backdrop upon which this historic monument is being held.
My Government made a conscious decision to immortalise the heroes and heroines of the struggle. We are determined to ensure that the narratives of our historic monuments are presented in a correct manner.-President Mnangagwa
1150: The towering Mbuya Nehanda statue is a reflection and embodiment of the heroic people of our country from Zambezi to Limpopo who sacrificed for the freedom we enjoy today
The statue is a bold statement of a people who know who they are, where they come from and where they intend to go.
The culture of resilience ingrained in the people of this country should see us build this country. This monument tells a story from the view point of the heroine of this country who led the people against colonial rule. We shall continue in discussions to bring back her skull which was taken to the United Kingdom along with others.-President Mnangagwa
1154: My administration deliberately chose this sight to place the statue. It is in these vicinities that she would stop to drink water and rest. She would come to a stream that was close by. After the white men killed her, they buried the stream thinking they had stifled the culture of Zimbabweans.
But today, that stream has been reawakened!
The British settler colonialists adopted unorthodox measures to subjugate the people of this country. This saw several battles that resulted in loss of lives and property.-President Mnangagwa
1157: A people without knowledge of their past are like trees without roots. This is the factual history and we are setting the record straight.-President Mnangagwa
1200: The presence of this monument along with the museum of African liberation will have a far reaching impact on tourism.
Stakeholders in culture and creative culture should be innovating. I once again express gratitude to descendants of Mbuya Nehanda and other stakeholders for this historic milestone.
We are proud as Zimbabweans. I appeal to Zimbabweans to respect this monument.-President Mnangagwa
1204: I declare the monument officially opened. God bless Zimbabwe! God bless us all. Ndatenda!
That concludes our updates, thank you for joining us.