UPDATES: Vusumuzi Dube, Simiso Mlevu. PHOTOGRAPHER: Wilson Kakurira. EDITOR: Costa Mano

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 1510: The official proceedings have come to an end here at Matopos Junior School and we also conclude our updates. Thank you for joining us.

1506: Cde Mphehlabayo Malinga is now giving the Vote of Thanks and thanks the Matabeleland South province for organising this year’s celebrations. He thanks the President for his words of wisdom.

1447: President Mugabe has finished his address.

1438: “We can have an extraordinary congress if the President retires but we must be together. I listened to President Trump speaking saying America for Americans, even building a wall at the border with Mexico. Now you have a situation like that in America so surely for you to want to go to America to look for a job what is it that you get in America which is what you cannot get in Zimbabwe? I have not seen a single person who went to work in America for numerous years coming back home rich.

Some of the kids in attendance

Some of the children in attendance

“Bond notes are just a temporary thing and we want you to bear with us because we had to adopt them for a shorter period. Let me end by thanking the youth from the depth of my heart for organising this event,”

1431: “If Zanu-PF says I should go I’ll sit down. For your own information I never canvassed for any position I rose up to my position, this is not about canvassing or buying beer let the people judge for themselves; no imposition we don’t want imposition at all. People have said that I should choose a successor but that is what is called imposition. I don’t want and will never impose. This is the job of Congress to choose those who want will then come up and the party will elect as the constitution states,”

1426: “Whatever position you seek must be a position you get upon a proper election by the  people whether they are to be for chairpersons or whatever positions have to be chosen by the people of the particular organic framework. People who are busy forming their own groupings saying VaMugabe must go I ask myself where should I go,”

1421: “Let me refer  now to the unending problem of division within the party. We want a party which is tight….when we say be united we say let’s have the unity that binds us at heart and also intellectually, true true unity. The party has a programme. The party, as I said, is based on a party constitution and the party constitution provides how people can get elected from one position to another. So why why do you want to try circumvent the constitution, haunganzvengese constitution se bhora kuti uwane chigaro aiwa hatina kumboita party yakadaro,”

1417:  “We thank the programmes that were done by the youth where  they gave themselves to clean up the cities which is very commendable gesture.         However , as a nation let’s be people who ensure that where ever it has been cleaned we maintain that. Tell yourselves that you are not litter bugs who go around throwing away litter. In other towns you are even penalised when  you throw away even a piece of paper,”

1415: “I am glad that this year God has blessed us with so much rain, dams are full others are even spilling,”

1411: “We lost of our young men and women to HIV/AIDS but mainly our young men when we did not know what to do. However  we now have ARVs but still the virus remains because a cure has not been found. We thank the Health Ministry in terms of what they have done in educating our youths. Although we have recorded a drop in HIV prevalence more still needs to be done,”

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko arrives

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko arrives

1409: “On our part we will continue working with the Youth Minister in harnessing the potential of the youth  and we need youth with certain potential. There must be national youth service, I don’t know why we have slowed down on this one. We certainly must start the national youth service programme,”

1406: The President says the youth learn from the leadership so they know how lead for tomorrow when they takeover leadership.

“Let me say that as the party and Government we recognise that the youth are important to us as a nation, they carry with them quite a number of attributes, ideas and skills.That is why the party and the Government value the youth, they are the vanguard of society,”

1356: President Mugabe commends the owners of REPS for changing the name of the school to Matopo Junior School.

1348: President Mugabe says the dynamism in Cde Chipanga and others must not get extinguished.

1346: “Constitution iyoyo ndoyatinoti ine mission iyoyo, a mission that is ours to fulfill. Hatitsautsire…asi nzira dziripo, ndonzira dzatinopawo kuzvikwata zvatinoshanda nazvo mumaProvince edu..kuti mission iyi tigone kuiyambutsa.

“It’s one mission we have to accomplish which has to do with the needs and minds of our people and we have reckoned along the way that we need the youth because they have greater vigour than all of us in the party. The women, they also have energies of their own which men don’t have and we combine therefore then we become organic and become a body that is determined using its youth; using its women to achieve the objectives that have to do with the welfare of our people, that is what Zanu-PF is about. I take this opportunity to thank the Youth League on this occasion for its energy,”

1340: “Handisi ndoga ndine vamwe, ndiri mutungamiri wavo vamwe ivowo vose nezvido zvavo, kutambudzika kwavo vanondipa mutoro iwowo kuti ndivabatire….neavowo vandakapiwha ka..tingati tine Central Committee tingati tine Politburo hongu ndokuumbwa kwataikwa ikoko, njere chichibva kumusoro,”

1336: President Mugabe speaks on his siblings saying only his sister Regina remains.

“When I look back I say ah oh Lord why where these taken before me and why have I lived so long, alone and I cannot answer that. Unogona kuzvipindura here? hazvipindurike but sometimes I hear a silent voice saying all of you each man, each woman has a mission to fulfill on this world. You have a mandate, that  mandate might run a short time, other mandates might run a longer time,”

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives

1332: President Mugabe says the Almighty God should be thanked for his being able to live from 92 last year to 93 this year and much more that he has had to live from being a child to today. He describes it as a long journey.

1329: President Mugabe thanks the Youth League for organising the celebrations.

1328: President Mugabe is now on the podium.

1305: She says she cherishes his counsel before bursting into song wishing the President a happy birthday.

Dr Mugabe ends her speech.

1258: Dr Mugabe says her family is deeply humbled by the great expression of love for the President. She describes President Mugabe as a loving husband and also a caring leader.

The police band is keeping delegates entertained.

The police band is keeping delegates entertained.

1251: Cde Chipanga has now invited First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe to address the delegates.

1247: “We reiterate the need to expedite the declaration of 21 February as a public holiday known as National Youth Day. We call on which ever ministry that is responsible  for this to declare this holiday by next year. Actually  we are saying whatever  minister who is responsible for this if he or she fails to ensure that this is a public holiday  next  year should not bother coming to the 21st February Movement  celebrations,” says Cde Chipanga as he concludes his speech.

1245: “The youth are also grateful for the philanthropic work which the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe is doing to help in the upliftment of women’s and children’s rights. Let me warn those who use the youths to try and forward their selfish agendas that they will be exposed as we are no one’s youths but we are President Mugabe and Amai Dr Mugabe’s youths,”

1234: Cde Chipanga calls for appointment of non political ministers to head economic ministries to ensure full attention to economic issues. He says some ministers are appointed today and tomorrow they are already planning on how to remove President Mugabe.

1232: Cde Chipanga laments the slow and tedious procedure that one has to go through in order to open a business which takes over three weeks.

1229: Cde Chipanga says 2017 marks 31 years since the Youth League  held these 21st February Movement celebrations. He says the Youth League finds it hard to think of another leader who is not President Mugabe.

“We are tired of holding elective congresses because party elections are different  from general elections. We want congress  to be just a formality where we deal with issues of Vice Presidents and Politburo members  and so on but your candidacy should not be touched as you are our Life President,”

1221: Youth League chairperson Cde Kudzai Chipanga is now on the podium and is chanting party slogans that eulogise President Mugabe.

1211: The Minister of Provincial Affairs for Matabeleland South Cde Abednico Ncube says the choice of venue is a blessing and the rains have opened up to signify this blessing.

“This is the the very place which our forefathers came  to pray to gods for the rains. I pay gratitude  to the people  of Matabeleland South who worked together to make this event a success. People showed unity of purpose which should be commended,”

Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Justice Mayor Wadyajena (in black cap) is also part of the celebrations

Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Justice Mayor Wadyajena ( wearing black cap) is also part of the celebrations

1203: Zanu-PF Matabeleland South chairman Cde Rabelani Choeni says the province will ensure that the party will win the 2018 elections. He says the province is cattle country and hopes that the ongoing Command Agriculture programme will include a component of cattle rearing. He wishes President Mugabe a happy birthday before concluding his speech.

1146: Youth league representatives from some of Africa’s revolutionary parties are giving solidarity messages.

ZRP Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri (L), ZDF Commander General Constantino Chiwenga and Zanu-PF national  commissar Saviour Kasukuwere chat at Matopos Junior School.

ZRP Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri (L), ZDF Commander General Constantino Chiwenga and Zanu-PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere chat at Matopos Junior School.

1139: Proceedings to celebrate the birthday of President Mugabe have begun in earnest here at Matopos Junior School formerly known as Rhodes Estate Preparatory School. Cde Innocent Hamandishe said the name of the school was changed because the owners felt it was wrong for a school to have the name  of the country’s colonisers 36 years after independence.

President Mugabe has already arrived.

The celebrations organised by Zanu-PF youth league have also been attended by Government Ministers, senior Government officials as well as service chiefs.

1000: We will be giving you live updates on the 21st February Movement Celebrations being held today at  Matopos Junior School in Matobo District in Matabeleland South.

Some of the delegates in attendance

Some of the delegates in attendance

Thousands of delegates have since gathered at the venue where they will join President Robert Gabriel Mugabe in celebrating his 93rd birthday.

We will also be live streaming the event on YouTube and Facebook from 1200 hrs.


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