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'Tormentors' hijack Mugabe holiday

by Staff reporter
24 Feb 2020 at 08:45hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT yesterday said the National Youth Day gazetted in November 2017 in honour of the late former President Robert Mugabe, no longer has anything to do with his legacy, but was now a day to "share with youths the successes and future programmes of the new dispensation".

Mugabe's birthday was February 21 and the day had traditionally been dedicated towards celebrating his political achievements.

Celebrated each year since 1986 under the banner of 21st February Movement in honour of the now late former Zanu-PF leader who died last September, the day was only officially declared a public holiday the same month he was toppled by his former confidante Emmerson Mnangagwa in a November 2017 military coup.
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But yesterday, Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said the day had nothing to do with the late Statesman, adding that it was just a coincidence that the holiday fell on his birthday.

"Today is not Mugabe's day, it is a day for the youths. It is a national youth day and the Minister of Youth (Kirsty Coventry) gave a statement yesterday (Thursday)," Mangwana said.

"The whole point is that it is a national youth holiday which obviously coincides with the birth of the late former President Robert Mugabe, but the holiday is a national youth day. If you want to focus on people's birthdays, did you call me when it was President Mnangagwa's birthday?"
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In her speech, Coventry said the day was meant for government to share with the youths the successes and future programmes of the Mnangagwa administration.

But in 2016, then Zanu-PF youth leader Pupurai Togarepi proposed the Robert Mugabe Day "in recognition of the immense contributions he has made to Zimbabwe." Then Mugabe was revered and idolised by his Zanu-PF followers who even implored him to continue in power despite his advanced age.

After his ouster, Mugabe broke ties with his 'tormentors' and died a bitter man, culminating in his private burial at his rural Kutama home as his widow, Grace, refused to have his remains interred at the National Heroes Acre.

Source - newsday