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Zimbabweans pay tribute to fallen heroes, heroines

by Staff reporter
14 Aug 2018 at 06:31hrs | Views
THOUSANDS of Zimbabweans from all walks of life yesterday thronged various venues across the country to commemorate Heroes' Day.

In Bulawayo, residents converged at the Provincial Heroes' Acre in Nkulumane suburb to pay tribute to the country's gallant sons and daughters for their supreme sacrifices.

A total of 844 heroes and heroines are buried at the provincial Heroes' Acre in Bulawayo.

People started arriving at the venue as early as 7AM, and the occasion officially began at around 11.30AM with the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) leading the crowd in singing the National Anthem.

The Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister, Angeline Masuku inspected a quarter guard mounted by  members of ZNA Mzilikazi Barracks. She read the President's speech shortly after 1PM.

Moyo laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before she was joined by the Commander of ZNA Mzilikazi Brigade, Brigadier-General Augustine Chipwere, the officer commanding police in Bulawayo,  Senior Assistant Commissioner Learn Ncube and his counterpart from the ZPCS, Chief Superintendent Cleopas Mzila Moyo.

Family members of the heroes and heroines also had an opportunity to put flowers on the graves of their departed loved ones.

In a speech read on his behalf by, Masuku, President Mnangagwa said the country was faced with a huge task of rebuilding the economy.

"It is now time to put the election period behind us and embrace the future. The task facing us today is a great one. Let us unite as Zimbabweans, revive our economy and rebuild our great nation; the land of our dreams, the land of immense possibilities," said President Mnangagwa.

In Matabeleland North the commemorations were held at the provincial shrine in Lupane where 27 heroes and one heroine are buried.

The commemorations were held under a dark cloud following the death of former governor for the province Thokozile Mathuthu, who was also the former Deputy Minister for Media, Information and Broadcasting Services.

In another sad development, Hwange District Administrator Mr Simon Muleya and Hwange Rural District Council Chief executive Mr Phindile Ncube including a driver, narrowly cheated death when a vehicle they were travelling in was involved in an accident near Cross Jotsholo on their way to Lupane for the Heroes commemorations yesterday morning.

The trio survived with injuries and Provincial Administrator Ms Latiso Dlamini who missed the occasion to attend to them said they were in a stable condition and were treated and discharged at St Luke's Hospital.

At the shrine, proceedings started just before midday with a moment of silence before  Matabeleland North Provincial Minister Cain Mathema read the President's speech.

After reading the speech the Minister visited families of the fallen heroes at the shrine.

The shrine was finally fenced after a local businessman Mr Donald Sigauke of Zulu Trust provided bundles of barbed wire, ending years of complains by families of the fallen heroes that the graves were being tampered with by trespassers.

Mr Sigauke said he sourced the fencing material and provided labour.

In Matabeleland South Province, scores of people gathered at the provincial shrine located in Gwanda to commemorate Heroes Day.

The Provincial Minister for Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs, Abednico Ncube read the President's speech. Speaking on the sidelines of the commemorations Ncube urged youths to take an active role in preserving the gains of the liberation struggle.

After delivering the speech, Ncube laid a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier followed by ZNA Commander Bulawayo District Colonel Rantham Moyo, ZRP Matabeleland South Provincial Officer Commanding Crime Assistant Commissioner Sitshengisiwe Mkandla and ZPCS Deputy Officer Commanding Matabeleland South Province Assistant Commissioner Jestinos Makhasi who also laid wreaths.

In attendance were service chiefs, heads of Government departments and residents. Gwanda Prison inmates, local artists and community members kept the crowds entertained.

In the Midlands Province, the provincial Heroes Acre recorded one of the biggest crowds in recent memory as thousands of people thronged the provincial shrine to commemorate Heroes day.

Relatives of the departed heroes started arriving at the shrine as early as 8 AM and were given flowers that were donated by a private property development company, River Valley Properties to cater for all the 209 graves at the provincial shrine.

The event was punctuated by lots of entertainment that included reciting poems on the sacrifices of the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle which took families, relatives and friends of those whose remains are interred at the provincial shrine, down memory lane.

A Grade Six pupil at Takunda Primary, Ngonidzashe Muzondi stole the show when he recited a poem on the protracted liberation struggle which saw him being showered with presents and cash by many people impressed by his presentation.

There were intermittent musical sessions throughout the day as the crowds would take to the dance floor with most of them seen doing the "Presidential" dance that is now synonymous with President Emmerson Mnangagwa every time he gets to the dance floor.

The Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Owen Ncube arrived at the venue at exactly 11am to kick start the programme.

The national anthem was immediately followed by a minute of silence in remembrance of the departed.

There was a fly past at about 11:27am and Minister Ncube later took to the podium to read the President's speech.

Soon after the speech, Minister Ncube then led the provincial service chiefs in laying wreaths at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Thereafter, Minister Ncube again in the company of service chiefs, toured graves while speaking to relatives of the departed heroes and heroines.

Meanwhile, River Valley Properties also donated hampers to all the 209 widows and relatives of the departed heroes whose remains are interred at the provincial shrine.

In interviews, some of the widows to the departed heroes thanked the company for the gesture which they said was now a yearly event.

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