The days of Harare as the centre of everything in the country are over, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
President Mnangagwa was addressing thousands of Zimbabweans who gathered at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo for the 42nd Independence commemorations.
This is the first time in the history of Zimbabwe for the main Uhuru celebrations to be held outside Harare – the capital city.
“I am delighted to address you all as we celebrate the forty-second anniversary of our country’s Independence under the theme “Zimbabwe at 42: Leaving no one and no place behind,” President Mnangagwa.
“This year’s celebrations are historic and extraordinary in that they are the first in which the main commemorations are being held outside the capital city of Harare. As per the promise of the Second Republic, the days of Harare being “bambazonke” are now behind us. We are strengthening our unity, enhancing national cohesion and entrenching peace within our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone.”
He said the celebrations carried an added significance in that they are the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic with people now able to gather together again.
“Today is also Easter Monday; we thank Almighty God for the restoration, preservation and protection of our great country,” he said.
“May the passing of the Independence Flame today, through Makokoba Township, serve as a remembrance and an honour to these suburbs as the belly that incubated political activism and ultimately, our freedom and independence.”
He further said: “We equally pay homage to the many trade unionists and nationalists who launched their confrontation with the brutal white settler regime, from bases within other townships such as Pelandaba, Mzilikazi, Luveve, Mbare, Highfields, Sakubva, Mtapa and Mucheke. The nation is emboldened by their bravery and selfless sacrifices, and we promise never to forget the rich liberation heritage they left for us.”
The commemorations were also graced by representatives from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and other political parties.