It was here that Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle started more than 100 years ago. It was here that some of the fiercest fighting in the quest for liberation was witnessed.
This is Mashonaland Central: Home of the spirit medium Mbuya Nehanda, who – stationed at a shrine in present-day Mazowe – exhorted a people to take up arms and be masters of their destiny.
Her defiant vow, even as she was hanged by a colonial settler regime, was that her bones would rise again.
And yesterday President Mugabe invoked the memory and idea of Mbuya Nehanda as he addressed what could be the biggest yet Presidential Youth Interface Meeting in the Mashonaland Central capital of Bindura.
He spoke national unity, he spoke discipline, he spoke patriotism.
And he reminded a nation that these were the tenets that Mbuya Nehanda taught as she rallied formerly disparate groups to embrace a cause bigger than the sum of their parts.
Initial estimates put the crowd that President Mugabe addressed at no less than 100 000. And that is being conservative.
Thousands lined the streets for a distance of at least 5km to welcome President Mugabe to the province.
If there was a street carnival yesterday, it was in Bindura and not in Harare.
What is more, these people lining the streets to welcome the Presidential delegation turned out to be those who failed to make it into an in- adequate Chipadze Stadium.
On entering the arena, if it may be called that, President Mugabe was greeted by ululation and cheers as the PA system played the evergreen “Jongwe Rinorira Rimwechete” by Mbare Chimurenga Choir.
When the tumult somewhat settled, it was time for President Mugbe to take the multitudes back to the source, back to Nehanda.
“Ndambotaura tichavamba (community) information centre kuti hatingauye kuno tichizoita meeting kana hurongwa hwakaita sei zvawo tisingaite kana kuyeuchidza kuti kuno ndokwemhondoro yedu,” said President Mugabe.
“Ndiko kwakavamba Chimurenga chekutanga, vachikokerwa naana Mbuya Nehanda, naana Kaguvi. Ndiko kwakaiswa mweya wakanaka watakazowanawo uripo isu takura zvichinzi Mbuya Nehanda havana kumboda kana kuti vadzorwe pfungwa dzavo, kana kunzi iwe wakufa, wakuyenda kunosungwa, kunosungirirwa chisvipa zvawangauinazvo zvese uchitarisa kuna- Mwari kuti uregerwe zvivi zvako.
“Vakaramba, vakaramba kuva muKiristo at the last moment vakati aiwa tanga tichida manamatiro edu, tichikumbira Mwari makumbiriro edu nhasi uno handingazochinja handidi.
“Vakafa vakadaro asi vaiti ndinoda kutaura kuti hongu ndirikuenda asi mapfupa angu achamuka. Ndokuvamba kwavakazoita Chimurenga chekutanga chakatarisana nezvakanga zvataurwa naMbuya Nehanda.
“Vakomana vedu, vana Mujuru ivava, pavakavamba Chimurenga vavanepfuti, havana kungoenda nzvimbo nenzvimbo vasinganamate. Vaizvipira kumweya iwoyo vachiti “tauya ndisu vana venyu tichitevedza shoko ramakataura kuti mapfupa enyu achamuka.
“Saka pavakanovhura ndima dzeChimurenga vachivamba kuAltina Farm izvozvo zveshoko remweya waAmbuya zvaivaperekedza. Kana muhondo yedu yeChimurenga hatina kuda kuti zvikanganwikwe.”
The President said the huge crowd that gathered for the interface should always guard Mbuya Nehanda’s legacy
In a message that drew resounding cheers from the tens of thousands in attendance and countless more watching proceedings live on television, the President called for unity in the party and nation ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections – polls that researchers have said are likely to deliver another decisive victory for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
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