Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Reporter
THE Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Committee on State Occasions has met the Bulawayo Provincial Committee overseeing hosting of the Independence Day celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium as Zimbabwe gears to celebrate 42 years of freedom on April 18.
For the first time since 1980, the main celebrations will be held outside Harare under the theme “Zimbabwe at 42: Leaving no one behind”.
The theme dovetails with the Second Republic’s drive towards the promotion of national unity, devolution and decentralisation.
President Mnangagwa will officiate at the proceedings, which will include a football match between the country’s two biggest teams Highlanders and Dynamos.
After the football match, members of the public will be treated to a music gala, with performances from various artistes.
Before the main event, President Mnangagwa will host a children’s party at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on April 17.
Speaking in Bulawayo yesterday, head of the inter-ministerial committee, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo, said they had come to the city to familiarise themselves with the local organising committee.
“We decided to come and interface with the local organising committee and those from Harare so that what we bring and what will be organised will be synchronised,” said Minister Moyo.
“The President will hold a reception where invited guests from all over Zimbabwe will attend and this calls for us to be patriotic.”
He said since Barbourfields Stadium has a capacity to host around 22 000 people, there will be giant screens to ensure that everyone follows proceedings even if they are outside the stadium.
“Our two giant teams will be squaring off after the celebration, a match which President Mnangwgwa will attend.
There will be a gala later on that day and artists from across the country will be giving us lovely performances from 7APM.”
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said it was important to celebrate independence and as the Second Republic they were not leaving anyone behind.
“We are very delighted we actually took the decision in 2020 and it’s the first time we are moving the celebration from Harare. Bulawayo will be full of activity. It will bring us together and it dovetails with the theme ‘Zimbabwe @ 2022, leaving no one behind’,” she said.
The committee also went on to tour the venues and expressed satisfaction that they will host the much-anticipated gatherings.
The children’s party, which takes place on the eve of Independence Day, will be attended by children selected from all the country’s 10 provinces.
Cabinet approved 540 learners selected from primary and secondary schools to attend the event.
Bulawayo was scheduled to host the 40th Independence Day celebrations in 2020 before the 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.
Article Source: The Chronicle