ZANU PF Matabeleland South provincial chairperson Andrew Langa yesterday said the province is geared up for the Independence Day festivities tomorrow.
“All roads lead to Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda on Friday, but before that, tomorrow (today) there will be the minister’s ball.
“Both events will be presided over by Matabeleland South Provincial Affairs minister Abednico Ncube,” he said.
“The independence celebrations come at a time when Zanu PF won all seats in Matabeleland South.
“A number of activities have been lined up. At my constituency (Insiza North), after the reading of the president’s speech, there will be cycling, soccer and netball tournaments.”
However, political activist Rodrick Fayayo said there was little to celebrate in Matabeleland South as the people felt they were not part of the country.
“In 1980 the government embarked on a programme to build infrastructure in the country except in Matabeleland.
“While they were building infrastructure in other parts of the country, they were destroying it in Matabeleland so the region still suffers from what was done between 1980 and 1990,” he said.
“The poor pass rate at schools being recorded and the closure of industry are all results of what was done to Matabeleland in that period. The people of Matabeleland do not feel like they are part of this country and the government needs to embark on nation building that will involve everyone.”
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema said this year’s festivities were peculiar in that they coincided with the Zanu PF win in the July 31 harmonised elections.
“We are ready to celebrate the Independence Day in Matabeleland North,” he said.
“We are celebrating as a party after winning the July 31 elections. We are the party which brought this independence we are celebrating.
“Let’s celebrate the day in peace and remain united. My message to the people of Matabeleland North is that ZimAsset is there to transform them into businesspeople and they should think business in whatever they do as families.
“That’s why I want to see that people get water so that they establish irrigation schemes.
“Let’s celebrate our independence with vigour and happiness,” Mathema added.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo said preparations for tomorrow’s celebrations were at an advanced stage and hoped that residents would turn up in large numbers to mark the event.
Moyo said everyone was invited to the Independence Day celebration which would take place at White City Stadium.
“We will be having a big event on Friday (tomorrow) and we expect all Zimbabweans, especially from Bulawayo, to come in large numbers to celebrate Independence Day,” Moyo said.
“People should come in large numbers and I promise that no one will go hungry on that occasion.”
She said they would raise money to cheer vulnerable groups in society today to enable them to feel honoured in the spirit of independence.
“Tomorrow (today) evening we will be hosting a minister’s charity ball at City Hall where we will raise funds,” she said.
“The funds raised will be given to vulnerable groups in order to cheer them up.”