Thousands of youths expected in Lupane
THOUSANDS of youths from Matabeleland region and the Midlands province are expected to attend the National Youth Day celebrations that will be headlined by President Mnangagwa in Lupane today.
The day is celebrated every year on February 21, the late former President Robert Mugabe’s date of birth, and is meant to honour his legacy and encourage youths to adopt sound leadership values by emulating ethos espoused by national liberators.
It is running under the theme: “Drug and Substance Abuse: A threat to Vision 2030, every community has a responsibility”. It is the first time that the national event is being held outside the capital, in line with the Second Republic’s devolution agenda which also saw Bulawayo playing host to the 2022 Independence Day celebrations, all along a preserve of the capital.
In Bulawayo, 2 000 youths are expected to travel from the city to Lupane this morning.
Bulawayo Provincial youth league secretary for administration Cde Admire Masikati, said they mobilised buses to ferry the youths to Lupane to join their counterparts from other provinces in celebrating the day together with the first citizen.
“We have organised 2 000 youths from Bulawayo to attend this important event and a minimum of 10 buses are already secured,” he said. “We are confident of getting more. Departure will be tomorrow (today) morning from party provincial headquarters Davis Hall and Mhlahlandlela Government offices.”
In Matabeleland South, 10 buses are expected to ferry youths to Lupane.
Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Cde Abedinico Ncube said youths had been mobilised across all seven districts of the province to attend the celebrations.
“As a province, we are confident that we will be well represented by youths from all seven districts in the province,” he said. “Youths should grab this opportunity to interact with our visionary leader President Mnangagwa. They should embrace this programme as it is theirs.” Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairperson Cde Larry Mavima said they have managed to mobilise 50 buses for the celebrations.
“Through collaborative efforts from Zanu PF Midlands Province leadership, an additional 40 buses have been availed to the youth league from well-wishers, partners and the business community. This brings a total of 50 buses for Midlands Province that will ferry people to Lupane,” he said.
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Richard Moyo on Sunday said they were expecting 30 000 people.
“We got 50 buses and we have requested 50 more so that we have 100 for people to be carried to the venue. As a province, we are more than happy and everyone is excited as this will uplift Lupane, especially in terms of business as shops are set to have a brisk business,” said Minister Moyo.
He said enough food has been mobilised while Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), as and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) have assured uninterrupted supply of water and electricity.
Zanu PF Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Tino Machakaire called on the youths to pay serious attention to President Mnangagwa’s keynote address.
Cde Machakaire, who is also the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, said this year’s celebrations provide the youths with a perfect opportunity to learn about the dangers of drug and substance abuse.
“February 21st must be celebrated by every youth in Zimbabwe, it’s their day, and this year we have invited the Head of State so that we meet with him and at the same time hear what his plans for the youths in the country are. With that in mind I would like to urge every youth to listen attentively to the words of wisdom by His Excellency,” said Cde Machakaire.
He said the fight against drug and substance abuse was being taken seriously by authorities including the Government, hence the theme.
“The nation is losing a number of youths through drug and substance abuse and this is really worrying because as a nation we have a Vision but that may be derailed due to such societal vices,” said Cde Machakaire.