Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is walking the talk in terms of leaving no one and no place behind and hosting of Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo on Monday gave an opportunity to local performers to showcase their skills at a national level.
The Second Republic in 2019 resolved to decentralise national events, breaking from the past when all national events were held in Harare. Bulawayo was scheduled to host Independence Day celebrations in 2020 but the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced Government to suspend mass gatherings as part of measures to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Bulawayo finally hosted the main Independence Day celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium on Monday and the stadium was filled to capacity.
In his Independence Day speech, President Mnangagwa said the bambazonke days for Harare were now a thing of the past as Government was not leaving anyone behind. The theme for this year’s celebrations is: “Zim @42 — Leaving no one and no place behind.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Independence Day commemorations, Chief Mathuphula from Tsholotsho said holding the Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo allowed people from Matabeleland to be part of the national event.
“We are holding the main celebrations in Bulawayo which is confirmation that Government is leaving no one and no place behind. In the past we could not attend the main celebrations because they were being held in Harare but this year we are part of the main event. Even those from Plumtree, Gwanda have managed to attend the main celebrations,” said Chief Mathuphula.
He said by moving the celebrations to Bulawayo, Government had demonstrated that it is committed to ensuring the success of devolution.
Chief Mathuphula said the Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo also boosted the local economy.
“Most lodges and hotels were full and many people had brisk business. Our children got an opportunity to showcase their talents. They have been seen by the President and the nation at large which is important,” he said.
Local artistes such as Sandra Ndebele, Jays Marabini, traditional dance groups and pupils entertained guests.
Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said holding of the main Independence Day celebrations in Bulawayo was historic and it showed that Zimbabwe’s democracy is now mature.
“It was a historic event. I was happy with the attendance of people from different political parties which is a reflection that Independence is for us all and we should celebrate together as one family. It’s my hope that Bulawayo businesses benefited economically from this event and once businesses enjoy good business, council also benefits,” said Mr Dube.
Citizens Coalition for Change interim secretary-general Charlton Hwende said it was important that as a political party they participate in national events.
“As CCC we are happy to be here as you are aware CCC is a new political party and this is our very first Independence Day celebrations.
That is why our president Advocate Nelson Chamisa sent us to come here to join other Zimbabweans in celebrating our Independence. We don’t have any dispute with the Government concerning Independence as we also appreciate the sacrifices of our brothers and sisters who participated in the armed struggle,” said Mr Hwende.
Article Source: The Chronicle