Manicaland hosts ‘best’ Uhuru festivities Diplomats were in attendance at Uhera Stadium during the 44th Independence Day Celebrations yesterday

Blessings Chidakwa in MURAMBINDA

ZIMBABWE’s 44th Independence celebrations held in Murambinda yesterday have been hailed as a major success, vindicating the devolution mantra adopted by the Second Republic, meant to decentralise the hosting of major national events across provinces.

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, and Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who is also Zanu PF National Chairman, lauded Manicaland Province for hosting an event that lived up to its billing.

First Lady Dr Mnangagwa said it was important for every woman to always respect the country’s history and its liberators.

“We are very happy, specifically myself and other women around the country, that at least today, we had another independence with a difference,” she said.

“The fact that we came to Manicaland, as was enunciated by the President that we rotate independence celebrations, made me happy.

“Manicaland has welcomed us all and we became one family. To us women, it’s very important to cherish and respect our war veterans. Remember we also had children who went to war without any form of training, some of them didn’t go to school. They liberated this country, where we find ourselves doing whatever we want.”

The mother of the nation also said the freedom being enjoyed countrywide was due to the sacrifices of the gallant sons and daughters of the soil, and should be cherished.

“They fought for us to work for our country to raise our children in a peaceful country. We are saying to the women of Zimbabwe, ‘let’s respect our war veterans, fallen heroes and those living’.

“As mothers, we should lead by example, the way we uplift our families. I think it’s important for every woman,” she said.

VP Chiwenga said the decentralisation of independence celebrations was a huge development for Zimbabwe.

“This is one of the best celebrations held under the devolution policy that the President introduced when he decentralised all activities of Government. This also included the hosting of such major events like Independence.

“It reminds people that we are together as a nation, we are a unitary State from all the four corners of the country and it reminds us how the Independence of this country came through after a bitter and bloody armed struggle,” he said.

VP Chiwenga also praised the people of Manicaland for the immense contributions they made during the liberation struggle.

“There is no part of the country where the war was not fought. Manicaland played a major role; first it produced our founding fathers.

“It played a major role in the liberation of this country. This is the first of the liberated zones in Buhera and, at that time, I was the Political Commissar before I became army political commissar,” he said.

VP Mohadi said the Manicaland independence celebrations were the best so far, adding that the Second Republic continues to improve going forward.

“This is one of the best independence celebrations we have held outside Harare. We went to Bulawayo; we went to Mt Darwin; this one is better organised than the rest. We are improving every year and we hope the next one in the Midlands Province would have improved on a lot of things,” he said.

“We also have some legacy projects we undertook, we renovated school blocks, we built schools and this stadium.”

Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, who hails from Manicaland, was on cloud nine over the celebrations.

“We are very pleased that this year’s independence anniversary is taking place here in Buhera District which was very strategic during the liberation struggle because of its terrain. Most of the people in Buhera participated and most of the families lost relatives during the war of liberation.

“People here really appreciate and this is an opportunity for them to recollect what transpired during the liberation struggle. This is very important for our children,” she said.

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