Zimbabwe celebrates 34 years of independence

Zimbabwe celebrates 34 years of independence

By Hebert Zharare and Lloyd Gumbo
The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and US president Barack Obama yesterday congratulated Zimbabwe on the occasion to mark its 34th Independence Day today as hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life gather at various centres across the country to commemorate the event.

In a statement sent through the British Embassy in Harare yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II wished the country happiness and prosperity.

“It gives me great pleasure to send the people of Zimbabwe my congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, together with my best wishes for your happiness and prosperity in the coming year,” she said.

The Queen sends congratulatory messages to Zimbabwe every year.

Quoted in online newspapers Mr Obama said: “The United States remains committed to the people of Zimbabwe and will continue to support them as they work to build a society that responds to their needs and honours their democratic choices. May the coming year bring progress toward a healthy and prosperous Zimbabwe.”

The main independence celebrations would be in Harare at the National Sports Stadium where President Mugabe will address the nation.

Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs in the other nine provinces will deliver President Mugabe’s speech at provincial celebrations while district administrators will do so at district level with some wards also gathering to commemorate the event.

This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme: “Zimbabwe @34: Defending Our Sovereignty and Providing an Enabling Environment for Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Social Transformation.”

Chairman of the Independence Organising task force, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo yesterday, said all was set for the celebrations.

“Our teams are busy putting final touches on the preparations as we speak,” he said.

“The Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services is putting in place a PA system that should be able to get everyone in and around the stadium to hear clearly.
“The place has been spruced up, repainted and it’s looking ready for the big bash tomorrow (today). We have three huge generators on standby just in case Zesa acts up. We also have engineers from Zesa who are on standby just in case something occurs.”

He said sungura ace, Alick Macheso and Suluman Chimbetu among other popular artistes would entertain the anticipated bumper crowd at the National Stadium.

Minister Chombo urged Zimbabweans from all walks of life to attend the celebrations throughout the country as a way of honouring and respecting gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives so that the country would be independent.

Photos The Herald (Zimbabwe) by Lloyd Gumbo

Zimbabwe Independence Day  2014

Zimbabwe Independence Day 2014

Zimbabwe Independence Day  2014
Part of the uniformed forces marching

Zimbabwe Independence Day  2014
President Mugabe lights the Independence flame

Zimbabwe Independence Day  2014
President Mugabe arrives at the National Sports Stadium in Harare
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Video: Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) 1965
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.

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Video: After the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), the British government petitioned the United Nations for sanctions against Rhodesia pending unsuccessful talks with the Smith government in 1966 and 1968.
Ian Douglas Smith served as Prime Minister of apartheid Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. Ian Smith’s formation of a republic in 1970 was recognized only by South Africa’s apartheid government.

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Video: Life in apartheid Rhodesia 1976

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Video: Prime Minister of Rhodesia -Ian Smith rejects black rule of an independent Rhodesia.
Rhodesia would remain and apartheid government until its independence of Zimbabwe April 18, 1980

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Video: Prime Minister of Rhodesia -Ian Smith talking about black rule and his opposition to it

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