As nation comes of age in style

19 Apr, 2022 - 00:04 0 Views
As nation comes of age in style President Mnangagwa lights Independence flame during the Celebrations Day in Bulawayo, yesterady.-Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

The Herald

Herald Reporters

For about a century before 1980, black Zimbabweans lived as second class citizens in their own motherland under subjugation from white colonial settlers who passed a number of laws in an attempt to legitimise the oppression of the black majority.

Zimbabwe only became independent after a protracted armed struggle.

The white settlers sought, not only to colonise the country nestled between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, but also to mentally brainwash people through systematic white supremacist laws.

Among the laws that dehumanised the black people were the Land Apportionment Act and the Land Husbandry Act, which bequeathed prime farming land to whites and restricted black people to arid and inhabitable places and also reduced the number of livestock black people could keep.

And yesterday, 42 years later, Zimbabweans led by President Mnangagwa celebrated the freedoms that come with independence in befitting style in the city of Bulawayo, in a first of a kind Uhuru celebration, that took place outside the capital city Harare.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zanu PF Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence and War Veteran Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, senior Government officials service chiefs and diplomats.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga arrives at Barbourfields Stadium with his children

Also in attendance were leaders from the country’s opposition parties, MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora, CCC secretary general Chalton Hwende and NCA leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku.

The festivities were all-embracing, as leaders from different political parties were in attendance in the spirit of oneness that binds Zimbabweans together regardless of political affiliation or religious beliefs.

President Mnangagwa, aptly summed up the mood when he described the celebrations as “historic”.

“I am delighted to address you all as we celebrate the 42nd Anniversary of our country’s Independence under the theme ‘Zimbabwe at 42: Leaving no one and no place behind’.

Members of the opposition political parties (from left) Amos Chibaya, Chalton Hwende, Lovemore Madhuku and Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Tino Machakaire (right) follow proceedings at the Independence celebrations yesterday

“This year’s celebrations are historic and extraordinary in that they are the first in which the main commemorations are being held outside the capital city of Harare.

“As per the promise of the Second Republic, the days of Harare being ‘bambazonke’ are now behind us. We are strengthening our unity, enhancing national cohesion and entrenching peace within our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone.

Opposition politicians Douglas Mwonzora (left), Linda Masarira, Paurina Mpariwa and Tapiwa Mashakada join thousands of Zimbabweans for the celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium

“These celebrations carry an added significance in that it is the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that we are able to gather together at this scale.

“Today is also Easter Monday; we thank Almighty God for the restoration, preservation and protection of our great country.”

Gravity defying and jaw-dropping performances from the Zimbabwe Republic Police wowed the crowds as messages to stop drug abuse among youth, observe Covid-19 regulations and put shoulder to the wheel towards making the country an upper middle class economy by 2030 punctuated the celebrations.

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