Independence celebrations  bring benefits to Mt Darwin People walk along the primed road which leads to Mt Darwin High school where this year’s national Independence celebrations will be held. — Picture: Innocent Makawa

Marsha Sengwe


THE hosting of the first national Independence celebrations in Mt Darwin has brought with it a lot of benefits to the community. 

These include improved road accessibility as all the feeder roads in Mt Darwin Township are undergoing maintenance by the local authority and the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA), formerly the District Development Fund (DDF).

The Department of Roads has contracted the maintenance of the Harare to Mt Darwin highway to three contractors namely, Exodus, Bitumen World and CMED. 

The access road to Darwin High School (ZB-Hospital Rd) is currently being resealed. 

This road is important to the community in Mt Darwin and the district as a whole as it links to four public institutions, Mt Darwin District Hospital, Pfura Stadium, Darwin Primary and Secondary Schools.

Along this road, there are businesses, Public Works District Offices, Old Pfura location, Department of Roads offices, DDF Offices, and camp. On load-shedding, the community has seen load shedding hours being restricted to about four hours daily. 

This has also led to improved water supply from ZINWA as they require a minimum of 18 hours to pump water to all the reservoirs, which supply the eight locations in Mt Darwin.

Improved water supply means better life, as the old adage says “water is life”.

According to Stanslous Nyachowe, Pfura (Mt Darwin) Rural District Council chief executive officer, “Mt Darwin will never be the same again as the hosting of the celebrations has brought with it a number of infrastructural developments, chief among these being the construction of a new stadium which will be the main venue. 

“It has change rooms, public toilets, a tartan athletics track, security fence, a solar powered borehole for irrigation and some flood lights are to be installed.

“Terraces for the stadium are on the cards as well.

 “Pfura Stadium is also having a face-lift as the surrounding precast wall, change rooms are being upgraded. 

“The much-needed public toilets, which were non-existent, are under construction and will be ready for use when the children’s party is held on the 17 April 2023.”

The community is really excited and can’t wait for the day anymore. 

The council through the business leadership has written to all business owners to spruce up their buildings and this is improving the aesthetics of the centre.

A number of clean-up campaigns, which are going to see participation of  the Mt Darwin community started yesterday. 

Mt Darwin Primary and Secondary schools have also benefited from the event as President Mnangagwa is expected to donate ICT equipment to them.

“On the business side, there is an improvement as we get close to the momentous and historic day as more people are coming to check on all the development projects taking place. 

“Our SMES are also set to benefit, we are setting up a place for them, where they will operate from.

“Remember there is going to be the children’s party, the main celebrations and the musical gala.

“All these events will see a rise in business activities, leading to an improvement in our local economic development.”

Mt Darwin is home to more than 10 000 people, who will benefit from the facelift underway.

The President’s rallying call of “Nyika Inovakwa nevene vayo” and “Leaving no one and no place behind” have come true in Mt Darwin, an important cog in the country’s Independence history.

On Tuesday, Cabinet received an update on the status of preparations for the 2023 Independence anniversary and children’s party Celebrations, as presented by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on State Occasions and National Monuments on Tuesday.

The celebrations to be held at Mount Darwin High School will be running under the theme: “Zim@43: Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo /Ilizwe Lakhiwa Ngabanikazi Balo”.

In line with Government’s devolution and decentralisation thrust, the children’s party will be held at Pfura Stadium, Mount Darwin Centre, on 17 April, 2023, while the Independence Anniversary Celebrations will be held on 18 April at Mount Darwin High School, Mount Darwin Centre. Learners are being mobilised from all provinces for the children’s party as well as providing entertainment and mass displays.  

An additional 400 children will be drawn from the districts in the hosting province, bringing the total to 1 500 children.  

The musical bands for the children’s party will be Freeman; Voltz-Kosilati Sibaya; and Leo Magozz. 

The programme will start at 9am and end at 4pm.  

The President will lead in the planting of at least 43 trees on 17 April at the Independence Celebrations venue, marking 43 years of Independence. An assortment of fruit trees will be planted at the Mount Darwin High School orchard.

An estimated 45 000 people are expected to attend the Celebrations. 

Alick Macheso and Paradzai Mesi will provide entertainment for the main Independence celebrations.  

They will be complemented by a cultural cast of 100 artistes, who will synchronise with the 500 school children doing gymnastics, and supported by the Zimbabwe Republic Police band.   

In the afternoon there will be a match between Dynamos and Highlanders at Mount Darwin High School for the Independence Trophy, with the President as the guest of honour.

 In the evening, there will be a musical gala at Pfura Stadium, and several artistes are billed to perform.

The Independence Flame will be lit  today at Harare Kopje, and a road show will start from there and pass through Mazowe, Concession, Glendale, Bindura, Madziva, Dotito, Rushinga, Chibondo National Monument, Mount Darwin District Heroes’ Acre, and finally land at the Independence Celebrations venue.  

The flame will be received at Chibondo National Monuments by traditional chiefs in Mashonaland Central, at a ceremony on 17 April, 2023.  

National leaders, Zanu PF second sceretary Kembo Mohadi and Minister Kazembe Kazembe will grace the occasion with Cde Mohadi leading the lighting ceremony at Chibondo National Monument and then the entourage to Mount Darwin District Heroes’ Acre.  

On 18 April, athletes will carry the flame from Mount Darwin District Heroes’ Acre to Mount Darwin High School, the venue of the Independence Celebrations.

In addition, an exhibition will be mounted at Chibondo National Monument to highlight the roles played by the masses and combatants in the Second Chimurenga War. Those in the surrounding areas are expected to attend the exhibition in numbers.

On the roadworks being undertaken as part of the preparations, the three contractors for the Harare-Bindura-Mount Darwin Road. – CMED is undertaking works on the 1.8 km access road; the Rural Infrastructure Development Agency (RIDA), formerly DDF, will undertake works on the following feeder roads:  Darwin-Nyakasikana-Karanda, 30km; Nyakasikana-Mutondwe, 18km; Mt Darwin-Tsakare, 42km; Chahwanda-Mudzengerere, 24km; Kaziro Road, 38km and Chahwanda-Chironga, 30km.

On water supply at the venue, ZINWA has provided a temporary water point on site, and has provided water tanks for provision of potable water.  RIDA in conjunction with ZINWA has drilled a borehole close to the site. ZESA has installed a transformer and a feeder pillar on site. 

On Independence Day, a standby generator will be provided. Furthermore, load-shedding has been suspended in Mount Darwin until after the celebrations.

Those residing outside Mount Darwin should not despair as the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services will broadcast live all the four major events, namely: the children’s party; the Independence Day Celebrations; the match between Dynamos and Highlanders; and the gala. 

The Ministry has also embarked on an information campaign through print media, television, radio as well as billboards to give publicity to the Independence Celebrations.

Cabinet highlighted that the delegates attending the celebrations will be encouraged to wear the national fabric. 

There are outlets in major cities and towns, which sell the national fabric.  

Plans are underway to set up an outlet in Mount Darwin.  There will be an exhibition in Mount Darwin starting on 16 April, 2023 whereby designers will market the national fabric. 

On transportation for delegates, Mashonaland Central has been allocated one hundred ZUPCO buses to ferry delegates to the venue. 

The other provinces have also been allocated buses to transport delegates to the venue. Funds and buses have also been allocated to enable all the other provinces and districts to hold celebrations at their respective venues. – Nehanda Guardian/NewZiana

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