Herald Reporter

President Mnangagwa is today expected to lead the nation in commemorating Heroes Day by making a virtual address as opposed to the traditional physical gathering of multitudes at the National Heroes Acre.

The virtual address by the President is meant to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of 104 people.

Heroes Day is a day set aside commemorate the selfless sacrifice and commitment of Zimbabweans who in their droves participated in the struggle to dislodge colonial rule in the country.

Today, Zimbabweans will follow President Mnangagwa’s national address through television and other mainstream media.

The same will happen tomorrow when the country commemorates Defence Forces Day.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, urged the nation to follow the President’s live national address during the two days.

“As directed by Cabinet, we are not going to have any public events for the Heroes and Defence Forces holidays. The celebrations will instead be held virtually, with the main event being the addresses on both days by His Excellency, the President, to the nation,” she told our sister paper The Sunday Mail at the weekend.

“We urge all citizens of and indeed all Zimbabweans living outside the country to watch or listen to the President’s messages that will touch on a number of issues, including the significance of these days to our nation.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government had made a conscious decision to set aside public events in light of the rocketing Covid-19 cases.

“We decided that we need to take maximum precaution to contain the spread of the virus. The rate of local transmission is a cause for concern and as Government we cannot take any chances. We are mindful that these holidays cannot be postponed that is why in addition to the President’s address, there will be a lot of activities on the national broadcaster, ZBC, to honour our heroes and defence forces,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The holidays give the nation an opportunity to reflect on the progress made by President Mnangagwa’s administration.

In a statement yesterday, the ruling Zanu PF party said it joins President Mnangagwa and Zimbabweans in celebrating Heroes Day, a day duringwhich the nation reflects on the historic, gallant and heroic sacrifices of determined sons and daughters who braved and fought with valour to bring independence to their motherland.

“On this day, we reflect on the arduous, tiresome and excruciatingly painful journey which our founding fathers and mothers travelled in bringing about the fall of the racist colonial empire,” said Zanu PF.

The ruling party called on the people to unite and commit themselves to sacrifice, hard work and determination towards achieving an upper middle income economy and double their efforts in engaging in productive activities in line with President Mnangagwa’s clarion call for productivity.

It also called upon nations that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to unconditionally lift them in the spirit of engagement and re-engagement, and allow citizens to chart their owndestiny.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veteran’s Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general Cde Victor Matemadanda said today, citizens should remember the sons and daughters who sacrificed to liberate the country and restore human dignity that had been taken away by colonisers.

Cde Matemadanda said various people such as war collaborators and ordinary citizens, played different roles to free Zimbabwe from the shackles of colonialism, hence the importance of today’s celebrations.

After independence, the country needed some who would protect it, and that is the role that is being played by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF).

“We are proud of our Zimbabwe Defence Forces as they are doing us proud and it is an excellent force that needs the support of the people. Because of the sacrifices and commitment that the ZDF is doing, a day was also set up to commemorate.

“They have done us proud even in foreign missions they have been called upon to undertake,” he said.