Live updates by: Wadzanai Mhombera and Judith Makwanya

1556: President Mugabe finishes his address, lauding the teachers for their hard work to mould the children and to bring them to this occasion.

1551: “My family and I are thrilled to be with you all at the 37th independence children’s party. I thank your teachers and parents for allowing us to be with you. I have enjoyed the displays you have put for already. I hope your stay and travel arrangements has been pleasant. Continue to behave well and be a blessing to your parents, your teachers and friends. I wish you all success in your education, behave well, avoid bad habits. This is the time to celebrate our independence, tomorrow we will be doing just that. I hope you join them tomorrow. May God bless your teachers, we know they have worked very hard to bring you here, and to thank them for their hard work,” said Cde Mugabe.

1548: The Ministry of Education has commenced the Zimbabwe Schools Water Project, that will see all secondary schools commence agriculture, fishing farming. To date 45 boreholes have been drilled at secondary schools. The project will move to primary schools once all the 2500 secondary schools have been accounted for

1546: At the beginning of 2017, government introduced an new, updated curriculum which should support the transition from school to work, promote innovation and creativity in our nation

1544: The opportunity to mingle with you young people gives me joy, says the President. You are the future of Zimbabwe. We need to celebrate the tremendous achievements in education on the eve of our independence. Your education is our priority, he says.

1543:  President Mugabe takes to the podium….addresses the delegates

1542: Minister Dokora now invites President Mugabe to the podium

1540: Midlands is the last province

1539: Matabeleland South province recite their ‘war cry’. Masvingo province follows.

1538: Matabeleland North province recite their greeting as well

1536: Now Mashonaland East province delegates. Mashonaland West follows

1535: Mashonaland Central follows with a ‘war cry’

1532: He now introduces the provinces…..they then recite a ‘war cry’ informed by the new curriculum. Bulawayo starts. Harare follows, then Manicaland.

1530: He says agriculture is now examinable at Grade 7. His ministry has enhanced STEM for increased human capital development

1528: Dr Dokora says President Mugabe’s own life is an example of the need for education….saying even inside prison walls he saw an opportunity to learn

1527: Children’s Party comes on the eve of the 37th independence anniversary celebrations, says Dr Dokora.

1525: Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Dokora now takes to the podium to present the delegates (young learners from the provinces) to President Mugabe. Minister of State for Harare Cde Mirriam Chikukwa also present.

1521: Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is also at the celebrations

1519: Entertainment from the provinces comes to an end

1515: Mashonaland Central is the next province on stage. They are presenting the “Jerusarema dance”

1511: Matabeleland South province onto the stage now.

1507: Mashonaland East now showcasing their talent

1503: Bulawayo province takes to the stage now

1459: Mashonaland West is next on stage

1454: Masvingo province enters the stage. They presented a dance named “Madirativhange”

1451: Next is Matabeleland North province, while Masvingo prepares. All province given just 3 minutes to showcase their talents. Matabeleland North presented a kalanga dance which is also popular in Botswana waving the popular cow tail.

1447: Midlands province is next to make their presentation. Every province is being given an opportunity to show off their talents in song dance and poems, praising what independent Zimbabwe and the liberators have bequeathed to them. Midlands song and dance was in remembrance of the late singer and liberator Simon Chimbetu.

1440: The party is coming to the entertainment segment. Harare province to present first. Harare province opened the floor with a group of hearing impaired, sight impaired and handicapped showing off what they can do best, among them an artist painter with no hands presented two portraits of the President and Amai Dr Mugabe which he drew.

1435: Rev Paul Damasane on the podium, leads in prayer.

1434: The children recite the National Pledge.

1432: National Anthen

1426: The President is going right round the stadium greeting the children. The President is accompanied by the First Lady Amai Dr Grace Mugabe, son-in-law Simba Chikore and his wife Bona who is holding their son Simbanashe.

1422: President Robert Mugabe enters the City Sports Centre for the official proceedings to begin.

1411: ZBC TV presenters currently interviewing school children from different schools who are attending the Children’s Party.

1406: The theme for this year’s independence celebrations is: ‘Zimbabwe at 37 Embracing Ease Of Doing Business For Socio-Economic Development’.

1403: Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Lazarus Dokora and his deputy Professor Paul Mavhima, Minister of State in Vice President Phekelezela Mphoko’s Office Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibabda and his deputy Retired Colonel Christian Katsande are in attendance.

1358: We give you Live Updates of  The 2017 Children’s Independence Party at the City Sports Centre, Harare