The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporters
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will lead the nation in commemorating Heroes Day and Defence Forces celebrations tomorrow and Tuesday respectively with preparations for the two national events well on course.
The main Heroes Day celebrations will be held in Harare at the National Heroes Acre while the Defence Forces Day major commemorations will be at the National Sports Stadium.
Ministers of State for Presidential Affairs will deliver the President’s speech in the nine provincial capitals outside Harare.
Heroes’ Day is celebrated to remember the sacrifices made by the gallant sons and daughters of the country, both fallen and living, in bringing Zimbabwe’s independence.
The Defence Forces’ Day honours the efforts of Zimbabwe’s security forces in maintaining peace and defending the country’s territorial integrity.
This year’s Heroes Day celebrations are being held under the theme; ‘Lest we Forget’ while the Defence Forces Day theme is: ZDF: Guaranteeing Peace and Security for National Development’
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema said President Mnangagwa would lead the proceedings tomorrow.
“As the ministry in charge of the Heroes Day commemorations, we are looking forward to this year’s event with great excitement and anticipation,” he said.
“We are pleased that our President, His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, will preside over the main event at the National Heroes’ Acre — at the national shrine where our national heroes and heroines are laid to rest — as the guest of honour.
“There will also be events in our provinces and districts to honour all the provincial and district heroes.”
Minister Mathema urged Zimbabweans to commemorate Heroes Day with joy.
“I know some people may have an inclination to commemorate this day with sadness, as they remember the loss of our beloved heroes and heroines,” he said.
“My message to Zimbabweans is that this should not be a day of sadness, but a day of celebration.”
In his update on the Heroes and Defence Forces preparations on Friday, Harare Metropolitan Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Oliver Chidawu implored Zimbabweans to turn out in huge numbers for the celebrations adding that Government will provide free transport to the main event venues.
“I wish to urge all patriotic Zimbabweans to come out in their large numbers to show your support as we commemorate our National Heroes’ Day on August 12 at the National Heroes Acre and our Defence Forces’ Day on August 13 at the National Sports Stadium,” he said.
“Forty buses have been allocated for Harare, six buses for Bulawayo while all the other provinces have been allocated a bus each.”
Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association chairperson Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said this year Heroes Day and Defence Forces commemorations are being held in the context of taking stock of progress post the Operation Restore Legacy revolution of November 2017 that ushered in the Second Republic.
“The Heroes Day celebration is a time of solemn remembrance. The November 2017 revolution was intended to lead to democracy peace, unity, development and prosperity.
“Zimbabwe is the patriotic sub region of the Southern Africa Development Community.
‘‘It was born of the erstwhile Frontline States of the epic anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-apartheid struggle.
“It is a well-knit union that acquired a political soul beyond the bounds of geography,” he said.