THOUSANDS of people gathered at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday to commemorate the Defence Forces’ Day.
The MDCs continued with their boycott of the commemorations after snubbing Heroes’ Day the previous day. Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, who has attended previous commemorations, also did not attend yesterday’s function.
Bulawayo governor Cain Mathema read President Robert Mugabe’s speech after midday.
Before reading the speech, Mathema paid tribute to the crowd for coming to commemorate the day.
“I want to extend warm greetings to you and thank you for coming to commemorate this day,” he said.
The ceremony was not short of drama, as one of the performers at the event, Ndux Junior, was briefly detained for blocking the VIP motorcade at the gate.
The musician was later released and performed to the crowd soon after the departure of Mathema and the service chiefs.
Another highlight was when a suspected mentally challenged woman joined a military procession and marched alongside the army band, as they were making their way out of the stadium.
The woman, clad in a green night dress, a skirt on top of it and a Zanu PF bandana, jumped on to the pitch and started marching between two soldiers holding mascots.
She was quickly removed by a man standing in front of a tent next to the VIPs.
However, the crowd was to have more action from the woman who joined the Mqabuko Choir performing for guests.
She was tactfully separated from the group, but continued dancing from a distance.
The woman all of a sudden went into a trance, lying on the ground and lifting her legs.
It took the timely intervention of three women, who quickly covered her exposed private parts.
The army bayonet fighters also left the crowd in stitches after one of the guns had its butt broken in a mock fight.
Among those who attended the celebrations were Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairperson Callistus Ndlovu, politburo members Eunice Sandi Moyo and Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.