Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
FOR the first time in the history of the country, Bulawayo will next month host this year’s Children’s Party ahead of the 42nd Independence Day celebrations to be also held in the city.
The Children’s Party, which takes place on Independence eve, will be attended by children selected from all 10 provinces in the country.
Cabinet approved 540 learners selected from primary and secondary schools across all the 10 provinces to attend the event.
This year’s Independence celebrations together with the Children’s Party will be held under the theme, “[email protected] 42 — Leaving no one and no place behind.”
The theme dovetails with the Second Republic’s drive towards the promotion of national unity, devolution and decentralisation.
In the past, the national Independence Day event, at which the President officiates, were held in Harare.
Bulawayo was scheduled to host the 40th Independence Day celebrations in 2020 before the national event was postponed after Government declared a National Disaster and enforced a lockdown as part of measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The celebrations and other public events were cancelled in March of that year as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic which had started claiming lives globally.
In his post Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Acting Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said the 2022 Children’s Party will be attended by 540 learners drawn from the country’s 10 provinces.
He said as part of efforts to expose learners to the country’s history and heritage, the learners will visit Matopos, Bulawayo Natural History Museum, Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage and Tshabalala Sanctuary.
“Cabinet was briefed on the 2022 Children’s Party and the 42nd Anniversary Independence Day Celebrations by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Hon. July Moyo on behalf of the Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee State Occasions.
The 2022 Children’s Party will be attended by 540 learners drawn from the country’s 10 provinces,” he said.
Minister Ndlovu said the two events will be held under strict observance of all Covid-19 protocols.
“There will be a massive Covid-19 testing exercise in Bulawayo during the Independence Day Celebrations. Only those who are tested and are negative will be allowed to attend the Celebrations,” he said.
“The nation is also being advised that the 42nd Anniversary Celebrations will also be held in all the other provinces and districts and there will be strict enforcement of all Covid-19 regulations.”
Minister Ndlovu said Government is concerned about schools and teachers that are demanding payment in foreign currency and warned that disciplinary measures would be taken against culprits.
He said attendance in schools has continued to increase and currently stands at 96 percent for teachers and 94,7 percent for learners.
“The nation is also being informed that the total number of Covid-19 cases detected in schools since the beginning of the first term increased to 606 during the week under review, compared to 517 recorded the previous week.
“The majority of the infected learners (422) were day scholars which is indicative that the infections are from the communities,” he said.
As of Tuesday, the country’s cumulative Covid-19 cases stood at 243 365, with 232 787 recoveries and 5 417 deaths.
The recovery rate was 95 percent, with 5 151 active cases having been recorded.
The number of new Covid-19 cases increased to 3 306 during the week under review, compared to 3 234 recorded the previous week.
Article Source: The Chronicle