All is set for the 21st February Movement celebrations at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on Sunday, with Mashonaland East province expressing its readiness to host the big event.
More than 50 000 local and foreign delegates and supporters of President Mugabe are expected to attend the annual commemorations, which are held to celebrate the life of the revered nationalist.
President Mugabe turns 90.
The celebration are under the theme “Zim-Asset – Growing the Economy for Youths Empowerment and Employment”.
Chairman of the national co-ordination committee Cde Absolom Sikhosana yesterday said: “We are ready for the big day. The theme is very clear: let us work hard to grow our economy for the empowerment of every Zimbabwean, especially the youth.
“It is their (youths’) event and we expect them to grace the celebrations. Everyone should rally behind Zim-Asset because its success means the success of the national economy.”
Cde Sikhosana said liberation movements from the region had confirmed their attendance.
“It just shows the respect the President commands,” he said. “All Frontline movements in Sadc will be there come Sunday.”
Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province Simbaneuta Mudarikwa said they were honoured to host the celebrations, especially after the resounding victory in the July 31 harmonised elections.
“To us we are celebrating a number of things; that is President Mugabe’s birthday, his achievements at Sadc and the African Union, good rains and the election victory. We are expecting a number of people and the event would be held outside the stadium to accommodate all the people,” he said.
“Tents have been pitched and the town has been spruced up with the stadium getting a facelift. We have established 20 water points and hired a number of mobile ablution facilities for the people.”
Minister Mudarikwa said the province, with assistance from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, would hold a road show in Marondera today.
“It is all about explaining the 21st February Movement to the people, creating personal contact with the people,” he said.
The 21st February Movement was established in 1986 to encourage youths to emulate President Mugabe’s selfless character and leadership qualities.
It is a day of retrospection and symmetrical recognition of the well-documented life of President Mugabe, born on February 21, 1924.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Democratic Party has joined the rest of the nation in celebrating President Mugabe’s 90th birthday today.
In a statement yesterday, ZDP president Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhi said only God could bless people with long life.
“Zimbabwe Development Party, its leadership and followers affirm that only the creator has blessed you President Mugabe with 90 years.
“God allowed you to lead Zimbabwe. Also, the Creator is covering you from the plans of the enemy. President Mugabe, you were born and thus live to lead Zimbabwe and its people with grace.
“President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Amai Grace Mugabe and your children, us of the Zimbabwe Democratic Party want to congratulate you and affirm that you have lived long because God has allowed it. We say long live,” he said.
Mr Mukwazhi added: “We wish to emulate you by having people at heart. Zimbabwe Development Party would like to learn from you.
Makorokoto, Amhlope, Congratulations.”