No party regalia at Uhuru celebrations — parties
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 00:00
THE three political parties in the inclusive Government yesterday implored all Zimbabweans to attend today’s Independence Day celebrations at various venues across the country.
They agreed that their supporters will not put on party regalia.
The main celebrations will be held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare where President Mugabe will deliver the keynote address.
His speech will also be read at all provincial celebrations by the respective Governors and Resident Ministers.
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said it was important to honour gallant fighters who perished in their quest to liberate Zimbabwe.
He, however, said his party will attend the celebrations under protest over the theme on economic empowerment.
The party is on record opposing the indeginisation and economic empowerment programme.
The theme for this year’s independence celebrations is “Indigenisation
and Empowerment for Social and Economic Transformation.”
Mr Tsvangirai said his party protested against the theme in Cabinet last week.
“We rejected it because we find this a repugnant theme which sounds more of a slogan for a political party than an inclusive, peace-building theme which should be determined through consensus,” Mr Tsvangirai said.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo dismissed Mr Tsvangirai’s allegations as irrelevant.
He said the theme reflected the main reason why Zimbabweans waged the war of liberation.
“Are they suggesting that we sit back and watch while foreigners loot our resources while our people are wallowing in poverty?” Cde Gumbo said.
“We didn’t liberate this country to only hoist the flag, but to make sure that our people are politically, socially and economically empowered. Surely there has to be a transformation in our people’s lives.”
He urged the new generation to guard jealously the gains of the liberation struggle by making sure the objectives of the protracted war were achieved.
Cde Gumbo said Zimbabweans were expected to show their respect to those who liberated the country by attending the celebrations.
The celebrations, Cde Gumbo said, come at a time when the Government has implemented the land reform programme and the indigenisation and economic empowerment exercise.
MDC leader, Professor Welshman Ncube, said it was obligatory for all Zimbabweans to attend Independence Day celebrations.
He said the theme did not matter to his party because they could also appropriate a relevant message for them.
“It (theme) doesn’t bother us at all because each person or institution is entitled to appropriate and reflect Independence to what they want.
“For instance, we have decided as a party that we will be reflecting on freedom, devolution and power to the people,” Prof Ncube said.
Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, who chairs the Independence Day organising taskforce, said the nation was “ready to roll.”
“People should come in their numbers. We are expecting all age groups to converge at the giant stadium regardless of political affiliation.
“This is a day that tells who we are and no one can celebrate better than us Zimbabweans. People should be seated by 8:30am and gates will be closed by 9:30am because we have limited space,” he said.
He said reports from the provinces were pleasing and most of them were expected to hold independence galas last night.
“The entirety of Zimbabwe will be in celebratory mood and we have over 1 000 ward centres celebrating the special day beginning tonight (yesterday),” he said.
Minister Chombo said no party regalia will be allowed into the stadiums.
“We have stated that this is a national event not a party event and we expect everyone to be dressed in civilian clothes. We should display unity despite the fact that we have different political affiliations,” he said.