Senior government officials and members of the academia have applauded President Robert Mugabe for prioritising education at independence saying knowledge is the foundation for empowerment.

Various speakers who spoke at Dr Mike Bimha’s (Minister of Industry and Commerce) colourful celebrations reiterated the importance of education.

In an interview on the sidelines of the celebrations, Dr Bimha said everyone regardless of age must seize opportunities to advance their education for the country to develop.

Cde Chiratidzo Mabuwa who deputised Dr Bimha in the Industry and Commerce Ministry until last week when she was elevated to head the youth portfolio, paid tribute to Dr Bimha for persevering until he attained his doctorate.

Renowned academia and author Professor Claude Mararike gave Dr Bimha some of the books that he wrote and challenged the Minister of Industry to be a beacon of light.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri implored youths to emulate good deeds and further their education.

The Minister of Tourism, Environment and Hospitality Industry and Chikomba East constituency legislator Cde Edgar Mbwembwe commended the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe for being a good leader who leads by example and practices what she preaches.

Several musicians including Sulumani Chimbetu, Andy Muridzo and Progress Chipfumo provided entertainment.