CCC to attend Mnangagwa’s independence day commemorations
By Staff Writer
ZAPU says it will not be celebrating Independence Day on Monday, but will be mourning the loss of lives before and after independence.
This year’s 42nd independence celebrations will be held in Bulawayo for the first time since the attainment of independence in 1980.
In his hard-hitting independence message, Zapu president, Michel Sibangilizwe Nkomo, called on every Zimbabwean to wear black attire on Independence Day.
“Zapu will be mourning than celebrating on Monday 18th of April 2022. We are mourning the women who die giving birth in our hospitals due to lack of care and medicinal support. We are mourning the looting of our granite by the Chinese in Mutoko,” Nkomo said.
“We are mourning the lives of compatriots murdered in neighboring countries. We are mourning the looting of our gold from Kwekwe and Gwanda. We are mourning the endemic corruption, where the Anti-corruption agency has become corrupt itself,” said Sibangilizwe, who is also the son of the late nationalist and former vice president, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo.
He said Zapu will be running a #iamceleblackit hashtag campaign on social media, where every Zimbabwean will be encouraged to wear black attire.
“Fellow citizens, Zapu will be encouraging every patriot to prepare to “celeblack”, not to celebrate independence on Monday 18 April 2022. We will honour this day, which exists permanently on our calendars, but missing in our hearts and collective conscience. We will honour compatriots who died during the war of liberation, whose graves are lying unmarked in Zambia and Mozambique. But in honouring these heroes, we call upon every Zimbabwean to wear a black top, doek or armband as an act of mourning all heroes, living and the departed, who sacrificed their lives for nothing. Let us all wear black as a sign of mourning the death of our collective dignity,” said Sibangilizwe.
He said Zimbabweans only enjoyed independence for a very short time following the attainment of independence in 1980.
“Barely two years after this historic moment, the new regime embarked on an orgy of violence against our supporters and members, resulting in the loss of over 20 000 lives in a genocide known today as Gukurahundi. I am 64 years old now, and together with millions of my compatriots, have, for more than four decades, been subjected to living with the painful reality that the dream of a prosperous Zimbabwe, as proclaimed on the 18th of April 1980, was not only deferred, but hijacked and ruined by merciless individuals organized under a political party called Zanu PF,” Nkomo said.
President Mnangagwa has invited all opposition parties to attend this year’s celebrations, which will be held at Barbourfields stadium.
THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party says it will attend today’s Independence Day celebrations, a departure from the past where its leader Nelson Chamisa shunned national events.
In early 2018, Chamisa announced that his then MDC Alliance party would abandon the boycott national events, but reversed the decision following bitter and disputed general elections that year.
Chamisa still insists that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is an “illegitimate” leader and refuses to acknowledge his victory.
However, CCC interim national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the opposition party would have representatives at the Independence Day commemorations to be held across the country, with the main event scheduled for Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium.
“As a citizens’ movement, we acknowledge the effort and sacrifices of our liberation heroes, war veterans, war collaborators and citizens, living and departed, who contributed to the attainment of the liberation of our nation from colonial rule,” Mahere said in a statement.
“Whereas there are political differences, there is no debate about honour, respect and acknowledgement of all national institutions, organs, events and programmes. Our loyalty to Zimbabwe and our loyalty to the country is the absolute marker of the preservation of our history, legacy and identity as a people.”
“Independence Day belongs to us all as Zimbabwean citizens. For this reason, we encourage all citizens to participate in such important national processes and events without tainting them with partisan conduct. Accordingly, we assert that we are going to be represented at all key national events.”
Chamisa was coy yesterday when asked if he would share the stage with Mnangagwa today, but Local Government minister July Moyo said the opposition leader was welcome.
“The President has also invited all political leaders in this country to the VIP stands that have been prepared for these celebrations,” Moyo said.