Bumper Heroes Day back

The Chronicle

Chronicle Reporters
All is set for Heroes Day commemorations in Bulawayo today with a visit to Lady Stanley and Pelandaba cemeteries to honour struggle luminaries buried there before the start of the main event at Nkulumane Provincial Heroes Acre.

This was revealed by Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube.

This will be the first bumper Heroes Day commemorations in two years as the country starts to reap the rewards of an effective Covid-19 vaccination drive.

In the past two years, health protocols and guidelines meant Heroes Day and Defence Forces Day events had to be scaled back.

Last year’s hybrid event had limited dignitaries joining President Mnangagwa at State House.

This time around, the national event at which President Mnangagwa will preside will be at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

In Bulawayo, the provincial heroes’ commemorations will be held at the Bulawayo Provincial Heroes Acre, where yesterday the venue was being spruced up, with the Defence Forces Day celebrations shifting to White city Stadium tomorrow.

A tent was being set up with decorations, while cleaners were sweeping the area and inside the heroes’ museum.

Minister Ncube said widows of late national heroes will visit the graves of their loved ones at Lady Stanley Cemetery and Pelandaba Cemetery this morning.

“In the morning, the leadership of the province will accompany the widows of national heroes at Lady Stanley where there are national heroes buried there.

The likes of Lookout Masuku and Welshman Mabhena are buried there.

Thereafter we go to Pelandaba cemetery where national heroes such as Lazarus Nkala are buried,” said Minister Ncube.

She said the programme will shift to the Nkulumane Provincial Heroes’ Acre, where the President’s speech will be read.

Minister Ncube said people must not forget the sacrifices that heroes made for the liberation of the country.

“They gave us political freedom and we are fighting for economic freedom. We celebrate and commemorate all heroes, be it national, provincial or liberation, for the sacrifices that they did during the armed struggle. We should not forget the pain that they went through to die for the country,” said Minister Ncube.

In Matabeleland South, the rainbow province is set to converge at the provincial heroes’ shrine in Gwanda as the country remembers the gallant sons and daughters of the soil who fought to liberate Zimbabwe. Tomorrow, all roads will lead to Phelandaba Stadium for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day celebrations.

Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Abedinico Ncube called on people in the province to attend the celebrations in their numbers.

He said Zimbabweans should commemorate the day in peace, love and unity.

“In the past, Covid-19 restrictions would limit gatherings but this is a special year as we’ll be able to meet in our numbers. We want to celebrate and enjoy. Zimbabwe did not come on a silver platter but it was through sacrifice by the country’s gallant sons and daughters,” he said.

Minister Ncube said it was through this sacrifice that Zimbabweans can now venture into various professions with no limitations.

In Matabeleland North, Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo is expected to lead the Heroes’ Day commemorations at the Provincial Heroes’ Acre in Lupane today, and the Defence Forces’ Day commemorations at Somhlolo Stadium tomorrow.

A local organising committee comprising a cross section of stakeholders from the province was set-up.

A report from the last meeting showed that most of the mobilisation for the two occasions had been done.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services pledged game meat and beef while Mega supermarket and Grain Marketing Board donated bags of maize and mealie-meal for the two occasions.

Arenel and Pepsi Centre will provide drinks while the Zimbabwe National Water Authority was tasked to provide bulk water to the two venues.

The Zimbabwe Power Company donated fuel while Lupane State University, Tsholotsho Rural District Council and Victoria Falls City Council pledged money.

Kusile Rural District Council and Lupane Local Board will sponsor soccer and netball tournaments that will be held as part of the commemorations.

The Forestry Commission and Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs pledged transport to be used around Lupane during the occasions.

ZPCS cleaned the shrine amid calls for Government departments and local authorities to cooperate and support state functions and events.

Logistics were still being made to transport widows of liberation war heroes to the provincial shrine.

Speaking after a post-Cabinet briefing recently, while acting as the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere said Government will provide transport to various venues for the celebrations.

“Government will provide 50 buses for the celebrations in Harare, while two buses each will be availed to ferry the public to the provincial venues. Buses will also be provided to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (4), Zimbabwe Republic Police (4), and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (4) to ferry their members to the venue,” said the minister.

“The Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) is ready and has already started mobilisation of vehicles for the event.

The nation is informed that Government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises will ensure that the national dress fabric is readily available at selected retail outlets, including the National Handicrafts Centre.

“The nation will be informed of the retail outlets where the national dress will be available. People are encouraged to wear the national dress on this special day.”

ZDF Day celebrations will be held under the theme, “Zimbabwe Defence Forces — Creating a conducive environment for the attainment of Vision 2030”.

Fifty buses have been reserved for the ZDF Day celebrations in Harare, 15 for Bulawayo and two for each of the remaining provinces.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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