Pomp, fan­fare at ZDF cel­e­bra­tions

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Chron­i­cle Re­porters

IT was en­ter­tain­ment galore yes­ter­day as peo­ple gath­ered across the coun­try to com­mem­o­rate De­fence Forces Day.

In Bu­l­awayo, thou­sands gath­ered at White City sta­dium to mark the day and were treated to en­ter­tain­ment by the mil­i­tary band and other en­ter­tain­ment groups.

Peo­ple started gath­er­ing at the sta­dium from as early as 8AM.

Be­fore the of­fi­cial pro­ceed­ings be­gan, the mil­i­tary band and other mu­sic groups kept the crowds, both young and old, on their feet.

Ser­vice chiefs ar­rived at the venue at about 12.45PM be­fore the ar­rival of the Min­is­ter of State for Bu­l­awayo Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs, Cde Nomthandazo Eu­nice Moyo about 10 min­utes later.

MPs, Zanu-PF Polit­buro mem­bers and Cen­tral Com­mit­tee mem­bers as well as res­i­dents from all parts of the city were part of the com­mem­o­ra­tions.

The mil­i­tary band led peo­ple in singing the na­tional an­them be­fore Cde Moyo in­spected the army parade, to­gether with Com­man­der 1 In­fantry Bri­gade, Bri­gadier Augustine Chip­were.

Pro­vin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mrs Khon­zani Ncube in­tro­duced Cde Moyo be­fore the Min­is­ter read Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s speech.

In Mata­bele­land North, the Min­is­ter of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs, Cde Cain Math­ema, in­spected the guard of hon­our and read the Pres­i­dent’s speech at Somhlolo sta­dium in Lu­pane. In at­ten­dance were ser­vice chiefs as well as the Deputy Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Cde Thokozile Mathuthu, Bubi se­na­tor Madeline Bhebhe among others.

Peo­ple were mes­merised by army drills and there was a foot­ball match in the af­ter­noon.

A pupil from Mt­shib­ini pri­mary school re­cited a poem en­ti­tled “am­abutho” in praise of the de­fence forces for pro­tect­ing the na­tion.

In Gwanda, res­i­dents were treated to dis­plays by the Zim­babwe De­fence Forces’ 1.1 Com­bat Group from Bu­l­awayo at Pe­land­aba sta­dium.

The sol­diers dis­played well-co­or­di­nated drills which left the ca­pac­ity crowd which had gath­ered for the event clam­our­ing for more.

The day started with a pro­ces­sion and sol­diers, led by the drum ma­jorettes and the army band, marched for three kilo­me­tres from the Gwanda-Beit­bridge Road through the high den­sity sub­urbs to the main arena at the Pe­land­aba sta­dium.

At about 12 noon, ser­vice chiefs ar­rived and were fol­lowed by the guest of hon­our, the Min­is­ter of Ru­ral Devel­op­ment, Pro­mo­tion and Preser­va­tions of Na­tional Cul­ture and Her­itage, Cde Abed­nico Ncube.

Soon af­ter his ar­rival, the na­tional an­them was sung and the Min­is­ter went on to in­spect the guard of hon­our of four de­tach­ments. Min­is­ter Ncube also read the Pres­i­dent’s speech.

Res­i­dents and guests were then en­ter­tained by drill dis­plays af­ter which the na­tional an­them marked the end of the of­fi­cial pro­ceed­ings at around 2.30PM.

In the Mid­lands prov­ince, all roads led to Mkoba Sta­dium. Pro­vin­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mrs Ce­cilia Chi­tiyo rep­re­sented Mid­lands Min­is­ter of State Cde Jason Machaya.

Mrs Chi­tiyo was ac­com­pa­nied by Com­man­dant Zim­babwe Mil­i­tary Academy Colonel Steven Gwek­w­erere, Thornhill Air­base Com­man­der Group Cap­tain El­lisha Masakadza, 5 In­fantry Bri­gade Colonel Svitswa and Prisons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Mid­lands and Masvingo Prov­inces Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Ce­lesina Mup­farinya. The army among others pro­vided the en­ter­tain­ment. In Masvingo, peo­ple from across the po­lit­i­cal di­vide thronged Mucheke Sta­dium to com­mem­o­rate the day amid pop and funfare.

The pro­ceed­ings started with a pro­ces­sion by drum ma­jorettes and sol­diers from Chikato Po­lice Sta­tion to Mucheke Sta­dium.

The Min­is­ter of State for Li­ais­ing on Psy­chomo­tor Ac­tiv­i­ties in Ed­u­ca­tion, Cde Josiah Hungwe, in­spected a guard of hon­our mounted by 4 In­fantry Bri­gade on be­half of Masvingo Min­is­ter of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Shu­vai Ma­hofa.

The de­fence forces showed their nim­ble foot­ed­ness when they did slow and quick time marches in a rhyming fash­ion earn­ing them­selves the ad­mi­ra­tion of the ever swelling crowd be­fore Min­is­ter Ma­hofa de­liv­ered the Pres­i­dent’s speech.

Af­ter the speech, peo­ple were treated to dis­plays from a num­ber of groups in­clud­ing Mu­timurefu Prison in­mates be­fore a foot­ball match pit­ting 4 Bri­gade’s 4 Li­ons FC against Masvingo Zim­babwe Prisons and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices (ZPCS) FC later in the day.

In an in­ter­view, Masvingo pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tor Mr Felix Chikovo hailed peo­ple of Masvingo for com­ing in their num­bers say­ing it shows the prov­ince ap­pre­ci­ates the work done by the de­fence forces.

Masvingo Mayor Coun­cil­lor Hu­bert Fidze said De­fence Forces Day is a na­tional event that ev­ery Zim­bab­wean should cel­e­brate re­gard­less of one’s po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sion. He said this year, the army has helped Masvingo City Coun­cil by build­ing class­room blocks at some coun­cil schools and has also pro­vided free med­i­cal ser­vices to in­mates at Mucheke Old Peo­ple’s Home.

Min­is­ter of State for Bu­l­awayo Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Cde Nomthandazo Eu­nice Moyo in­spects the army parade dur­ing the ZDF com­mem­o­ra­tions at White City Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

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