Independence Celebrations go virtual

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Lighting of the Independence flame is one of the moments that highlight the commemorations
Lighting of the Independence flame is one of the moments that highlight the commemorations

Sharon Chikwanha

Zimbabwe’s 41st Independence Celebrations will be held virtually as government moves to curtail the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Government has organised a series of activities to mark the commemorations.

They will be held under the theme: [email protected] Together, Growing the Economy for a Prosperous, Resilient and Inclusive Society.

In a statement, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said among the activities lined for the celebrations this weekend would be a National Attire Design Competition.

Other activities include and On-line Youths Business Forum, Children’s Party, Presidential Interview and Independence Gala.

Also lined-up for the commemorations will be a fireworks display and a soccer match between Dynamos and Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium.

“The 41st Independence commemorations are taking place in a climate of COVID-19 safety restrictions, therefore a lot will happen virtually and congestion will be avoided.

“Our commemorations are treated as a Season of Celebration stretching into a number of days,” she said.

The National Attire Design Competition to be held on Friday.

It was preceded by provincial competitions held across Zimbabwe with designers coming up with designs for all Zimbabweans to wear and style the national dress fabric.

“Therefore, there will be a function this Friday, at the HICC, where the Provincial winners will context against each other for the award of best National Design,” she said.

On the Online Youth Business Forum set for Saturday, Minister Mutsvangwa said there is a lot of focus on the Youth in the commemorations.

The Business Forum is going to take place in Seven Chatrooms where different ministers will engage the youth on their interests in different sectors of the Economy.

The ministers would include Kirsty Coventry (Chatroom 1), Sithembiso Nyoni (C2), Felix Mhona (C3), Winston Chitando (C4), Anxious Masuka (C6), Mangaliso Ndlovu (C6) and Sekesai Nzenza in Chatroom 6.

Log-in details to enter the Chatrooms will be provided to different Youth Groups.

“The Children’s Party is going to be held on the evening of the 17th of April 2021. The main event will take place at Statehouse in Harare. 50 children will come from all provinces to Statehouse.

“There will be 25 boys and 25 girls who are coming to Harare tomorrow (Friday). Measures will be in place to keep the children safe.

“There will also be provincial parties happening across all other provinces in the country led by Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.”

A Virtual Concert will be held on the eve of the Independence Day.

“This will avail citizens an opportunity to merry make, while in the safe confines of their homes. Artists are billed to perform from 17 April 18:00hrs to 18 April 06:00hrs.

“The welfare of the artists is of paramount importance hence, only 50 people will be at the venue.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said police will ensure that only crew and artists will have access to the venue.

“Further to this, preventative and precautionary COVID-19 protocols will be observed thorough out including sanitization of equipment, frequent hand washing, wearing of masks and social distancing.”

A fireworks display will also be held on the stroke of the hour at midnight on April 18.

The fireworks display will be at the Harare International Conference Centre.

President Mnangagwa will address the nation on Sunday morning.

A soccer match between Dynamos and Highlanders who will battle it out for honours of the Independence Trophy that same day.

The event will be closed to the general public while only 50 officials and team members will be allowed.

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