The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THIS year’s 40th Independence Day celebrations will be unique in that they will be big on culture, as the main celebrations will for the first time be held in Bulawayo, a city that is known to be a melting pot of arts and culture.
The celebrations will have a strong bias towards displaying the best of what the city has to offer on the cultural front.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, said in a telephone interview yesterday that preparations for the celebrations were at an advanced stage.
“Preparations for the Independence Day celebrations are at an advanced stage. As you are aware for the first time in 40 years, Independence Day celebrations are being held outside Harare. Bulawayo is going to host the first (main) celebrations out of Harare. Bulawayo is big on culture and the celebrations are going to be big on culture. As this is a Ruby Jubilee, we are going to use it to rally the nation together. These Ruby Jubilee celebrations are not a once-off event. They are expected to last for the whole of 2020,” he said.
Mr Mangwana said as part of the celebrations, there will be an art exhibition and fireworks displays on the eve of Independence Day as a way of kick starting the celebrations.
“We are planning a number of new exciting activities earmarked for the build up to the main event. These include an art exhibition in Bulawayo and fireworks on the eve of the Independence Day. A 40-part-themed parade through the streets of Bulawayo has also been mooted,” he said.
The celebrations, he said, will include every Zimbabwean, including those that are in the Diaspora who are set to perform at a musical gala to mark 40 years of self-rule. The gala will feature performances that will give a national outlook. Mr Mangwana said the activities that have been lined up for the celebrations will provide the nation with an opportunity to focus on aspects that bring Zimbabweans together.
Mr Mangwana said Government ministries have been tasked to draw up budgets related to set tasks as a way of moving forward with preparations and various ideas were being considered for the main celebrations which come out of Harare for the first time since the attainment of Independence. Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo Provinces have already pledged to join forces to mobilise resources for the celebrations.