VP Chiwenga leads clean-up dedicated to heroes Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga

Herald Reporters

Zimbabweans have an obligation to keep a clean and safe environment in honour of their heroes, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday as the country held the monthly National Clean-up Campaign just before the Heroes and Defence Forces Holiday that commemorates those who struggled for freedom.

Vice President Chiwenga led the nation in this month’s clean up in the absence of President Mnangagwa who is in Mozambique on official business. President Mnangagwa introduced the monthly clean-up in a bid to inculcate cleanliness, itself an attribute of a successful country.

This month’s edition is being held under the theme: “Cleaning our environment for our heroes”.

Accompanied by his wife, Colonel Miniyothabo Chiwenga, the Vice President is in Bulawayo on a whirlwind of assignments which also saw him visit the home of playwright and filmmaker Cont Mhlanga who died earlier this week.

On the same day he also officially opened the refurbished Sai Mart Supermarket which was vandalised in an orgy of violence in 2019.

Speaking on the need for a clean environment, he said: “Lest we forget that these are the people who sacrificed so much for our hard won independence hence it remains priceless to honour them by celebrating Heroes Day in a clean environment,” said VP Chiwenga.

“As such, as we remember our beloved heroes, with the Heroes Day coming next week, let us complement their efforts and dedication to liberate our country by being good stewards and clean the surroundings throughout the country where they are laid to rest.

“Let us all take part in creating a conducive clean environment for the future we want and leave a legacy for the future generation to enjoy,” said the Vice President.

Speaking at the Mhlanga homestead in Nguboyenja the VP said he personally came to know the late playwright through his wife who worked with Cont Mhlanga on the boards of Skyz Metro and Breeze FM radio stations.

He said the well-known playwright will be remembered as one of the foremost champions of Zimbabwean culture and heritage and Government appreciates the role he played.

“He will be remembered for championing the Ndebele culture. When he opened his Amakhosi Arts Center he proved his prowess. He wrote many books used as set books in schools. He mentored many youths at his centre and taught many present day artists,” said Vice President Chiwenga.

Mhlanga family representative Mr Stix Mhlanga, thanked Government for recognising his brother as well as assisting in his burial arrangements.

The playwright will be buried today in Lupane, his rural home.

Speaking at the refurbished Sai Mart Supermarket, Dr Chiwenga condemned violence as a hindrance to development which deprives people their livelihood.

“While concerted efforts have been made to rehabilitate the affected infrastructure, it is my prayer that the City of Bulawayo and the nation at large will never witness the agony that the communities went through because of these unfortunate riots,” said VP Chiwenga.

“Such kind of acts hinders development and deprives the people their livelihoods. As Zimbabweans, we are known to be a civilised nation. Violence and destruction of property are retrogressive and anathema to development.”

Vice President Chiwenga noted that the subsequent looting of shops in 2019 left some shops destroyed by fire which affected the provision of goods and services to people.

Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube blamed the opposition-led local authority for not playing their part in the country’s call for cleanliness.

Meanwhile, Government has urged companies, shops and other businesses to normalise routine weekly clean-up campaigns to keep their workplaces clean and maintain a clean public environment. Mashonaland West, the provincial clean-up campaign was held at the Chinhoyi Provincial Heroes Acre, where Zanu PF Vice President and Second Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi led the event.

Addressing the crowd at the Seven Heroes Monument after cleaning the shrine’s environment and planting trees, Cde Mohadi, who was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers, government department heads, traditional chiefs and senior party officials, said the selection of the Heroes’ Acre for cleaning was in keeping remembrance of the country’s fallen heroes.

“I call upon everyone to play part in cleaning their environments in honour of Zimbabwe’s fallen heroes. We must remember that the comrades who perished here and many who lie in unmarked places, cherished a desire to liberate Zimbabwe. They fought for a nation whose citizens would live in a clean, safe, and healthy environment,” he said.

The Chinhoyi Seven who signalled the start of the Second Chimurenga in 1966, were Arthur Maramba, David Guzuzu, Chabby Savanhu, Christopher Chatambudza, Godwin Manyerere, Simon Chimboza and Godfrey Dube.

He challenged all sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to come up with robust measures and strategies for sustaining the culture of cleanliness by adopting best waste management practices.

“As part of corporate social responsibility, institutions and businesses can assist with capacitating local authorities in maintaining a clean environment. If we cannot create a clean environment ourselves, no one will do it for us hence the philosophy ‘Nyika Inovakwa Nevene Vayo.”

Due to modernisation, and more homes and people, there are more streams of waste including plastics and metals. These continue to threaten the environment, with Cde Mohadi calling local authorities to be the vanguard of good waste management systems and have annual waste management plans.

In her remarks, Mashonaland West Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka reaffirmed the province’s readiness in fighting waste and encouraging communities to turn litter into a viable and income-generating project.

Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando yesterday led the clean-up campaign in Msasa Park in Harare with several companies including the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) and residents taking part.

The Minister said that Zimbabweans should not wait for Government to lead them in cleaning up their environs.

“First Friday of the month is a programme which was started by President Mnangagwa. Every first Friday of the month we need to do this symbolic programme to look after our environment. The idea is that we should do this on a daily basis and not wait to clean our spaces when there is a campaign. We should continue to do this where we work, where we live and where we do our businesses on a daily basis,” he said.

“This is symbolic and we should not wait for any leaders here at the shops but we should normalise keeping our public places clean.”

People across the country should keep the environment they operate in clean and have proper waste management systems.

“Let this campaign serve as a reminder to everyone that they should maintain a clean environment. It should paint a picture in their minds on how clean we want the environment to be,” he added.

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