1240: It’s now time for mass displays and that brings to an end our live updates. Thanks for joining us!

1234: Jah Prayzah is now back on stage entertaining the crowd with his song ‘Ndini Ndamubata’.

1218: The ZDF Parade is now marching off the parade square.

1213: The National Anthem is now being sung. 

1212: President Mnangagwa has finished his address.

1211: He has commended the ZDF Commanders for their astute leadership and guidance to the country’s defence forces, as he encouraged all ZDF officers, men and women, to remain resolute, and to professionally and diligently execute their mandate to protect Zimbabwe territorial integrity and its national security.

1210: The President says his administration is committed to improving the welfare of the defence forces which include their housing needs as the economy improves, adding that the government will also pay attention to the re-equipping of the ZDF whose equipment in some instances dates back to 30 years.   

1209: President Mnangagwa says such international military interactions are critical in improving the ZDF operations as they will learn from their sister institutions. This will help in sharpening their skills and improve their professional conduct in protecting the country.

“Several officers are currently deployed in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Lesotho and at the UN Headquarters. We are indeed proud that our forces continue to raise the country’s flag high through demonstration of professionalism, intelligence and diligence wherever they are deployed,” – ED.

Earlier on people flocking into the NSS

1205: He says this has significantly transformed the ZDF as major contributors to international peace and stability. “In this regard, our officers have earned excellent international reputation, goodwill and confidence globally”. 

1203: President Mnangagwa says to widen the scope of ZDF competencies, officers have continued to undertake training programmes offered by other countries and this accounts for several ZDF officers presently attending regional courses in Botswana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia as well as others carried out in China, Russia, Greece, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Belarus.

1200: “Let us bury our political differences and focus on building our country,”

1159: President Mnangagwa says the ZDF has contributed to global peace, security and harmony through its involvement in regional and international peacekeeping missions.

1158: “Violence has no place in the new Zimbabwe and our second republic. We continue to call for restraint and more peace throughout our country. The new dispensation has opened up the country’s democratic and economic space and this should, however, never never be abused,” ED.

1156: The President says the Defence Forces Day celebrations come barely two weeks after Zimbabwe’s landmark harmonised polls which were held peacefully. He says he is disheartened by the acts of violence which rocked the streets of Harare at the instigation of some leaders in MDC Alliance which led to the unfortunate loss of lives and damages to property. 

1155: He says the day was set aside by the government at independence in 1980 to recognise and appreciate the critical role played by ZDF in maintaining peace and tranquility as well as safeguarding national peace and territorial integrity of the country.

1147: The President is now giving his keynote address.

1146: He invites His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief of the ZDF and the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa to the podium.

1145: Vice President Chiwenga has applauded the ZDF’s role in embracing the infrastructure and utilities cluster on the ZIMASSET by providing free medical services as well building of school blocks and bridges around the country.

1144: He says over the years the ZDF has transformed into a respectable institution globally where it has been active in regional peacekeeping duties and their conduct has been beyond reproach.

1140: VP Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs is now on the podium.

1137: He gives a sermon from the book of Ecclesiastes as he also gives an opening prayer. 

1126: Director of Ceremonies invites chaplain general Colonel Joseph Nyakudya to deliver a sermon.

1101: ZDF Parade march past in slow and quick time.

1049: President Mnangagwa now inspecting the parade. 

1046: Official proceedings begin with the singing of the National Anthem as a Flypast is conducted by the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

1043: His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson mnangagwa arriving here the giant NSS for the Defence Forces celebrations.

1041: The First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has arrived.

Jah Prayzah and his band members performing.

1040: Jah Prayzah entertaining the crowd here at the National Sports Stadium.

1033: Vice President Retired general Dr Constantino Chiwenga, accompanied by his wife Mary also arriving here for the Defence Forces celebrations.   

1025: Arrival of Vice President Kembo Mohadi being greeted by service chiefs who have already arrived.

Scenes at the National Sports Stadium.

1021: The celebrations are running under the theme, “Zimbabwe Defence Forces: Dedicated to the Defence of National Sovereignty, Stability and Socio-economic Development”.

1016: It’s Defence Forces Day today and the main celebrations are at the giant National Sports Stadium in the capital, Harare.