president mugabe lighting ed.jpgAll roads led to the National Sports Stadium in Harare this Monday as Zimbabweans from different parts of the country converged at the venue for the country’s main 31st independence celebrations.

Buses, trucks of all shapes and sizes were seen offloading people at the venue from early in the morning, while others trickled in on foot from the city centre and from surrounding suburbs.

Even the little ones in the company of their parents would not be outdone as they came out in full force to celebrate independence.

By midmorning, the 60 000 seater stadium was full to capacity and the people burst into ululation, singing and whistling as the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe entered the venue.

dignatories at independence.jpgVice Presidents; Joice Mujuru and John Landa Nkomo, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, several government ministers from across the political divide, service chiefs  as well as representatives of  religious groups and ordinary people were all there in a show of  unity among Zimbabweans as they observed 31 years of independence.

After taking the presidential salute and a flypast in diamond formation by the Airforce of Zimbabwe, Cde Mugabe went on to inspect a guard of honour to the accompaniment music from the Prison Service Brass Band.

Then it was time for the defence forces to show off what they are made of as in slow and quick march they displayed their marching skills.

It was another moment down memory lane as the crowd watched President Mugabe move forward and light the Independence Flame, a symbol of the nation’s undying desire for independence and total control of its country, Zimbabwe.

After the President’s address, it was entertainment galore with various forms of performances.

Mass displays from school children opened the entertainment floor, with various messages spelling out Zimbabwe’s achievements and policies that the government is implementing for the total liberation of the country.

In another act that left the crowd crying out for more, some 300 cultural performers inundated the arena through song and dance, and the sounding of the various African cultural instruments, showing the rich cultural diversity that Zimbabwe has .
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The traditional Mock battle drills by members of the Airforce of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Army, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police remain a major part of Zimbabwe’s Independence Day celebrations and they continue to be a favourite of the crowd.