Physical Heroes and Defence Forces Day celebrations are back following a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 lockdown measures which had been put in place to contain the spread of the virus.
The commemorations have been decentralised to all districts, with the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikenyere expected to lead the provincial events at Manicaland Provincial Heroes’ Acre and Sakubva Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
In an interview yesterday (Thursday), Secretary for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza said all was in place for this year’s commemorations.
“This year, we will be having the traditional commemorations in all the seven districts of Manicaland. People are expected to converge at the district shrines for the Heroes’ Day commemorations on Monday.
“Minister Matsikenyere will lead the provincial celebrations in Mutare. She will read the President’s speech as well as lay wreaths on the tomb of the unknown soldier. She will also have time to tour and interact with families of heroes buried at the provincial shrine.
“The Defence Forces Day commemorations will be marked in districts where we have Zimbabwe National Army camps like Mutare, Chipinge, Rusape and Nyanga. A lot of entertainment activities have been lined up and we call upon the people of Manicaland to throng the different venues in their numbers to mark these important days in our country’s history,” said Mr Seenza.
Zanu PF provincial chairman, who is also Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister, Cde Mike Madiro urged youths to emulate the virtues and extol the country’s freedom fighters as way of honouring the supreme sacrifices they made for the nation.
Cde Madiro challenged youths to be disciplined and to jealously guard the gains brought about by Independence.
He described the youths as the present day liberators of the economy who should take a leaf from the freedom fighters.
“As we approach the Heroes’ Day, it is important to remind young people of the need to protect Zimbabwe’s legacy. They have to take after our forbearers who fought in the liberation war to be today’s heroes in economic transformation and growth while also shaping the country’s future.
“The youth must have a clear orientation on the revolutionary ideology in order for them to protect the legacy of our founding fathers. This calls for discipline among young people because it was one of the virtues exuded by the freedom fighters,” said Cde Madiro.
He condemned substance and drug abuse among the youth, describing the scourge as a serious social and health concern.
Said Cde Madiro: “For the young people to be actively involved in meaningful and sustainable development, they must shun drug and substance abuse. The youths have a role to play in contributing towards the realisation of Vision 2030 and this requires sober and sound minds.”
Zimbabwe Chiefs Council’s provincial chairman, Chief Makumbe said Heroes and Defence Forces Day commemorations give Zimbabweans a chance to reflect on the country’s journey since the First Chimurenga.
“August is the month to reflect on our history as Zimbabweans. A lot of sacrifices were made for us to have a free Zimbabwe. We should take time to honour and respect all heroes and heroines, both living and the dead. Their supreme sacrifices are unmatched. We are proud Zimbabweans because some people died for the freedom we enjoy today. That person deserves our respect.
“As chiefs, we will forever remain grateful to the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who wedged the liberation war to restore our dignity.
“Our land is now back in our custody and I implore everyone to fully utilise the land to ensure the country’s prosperity,” said Chief Makumbe.