Live updates by: Thembinkosi Mangena

Feeds and Photography by: Wadzanai Mhombera

 

1253: President Mugabe ends his speech by calling for Zimbabweans to be united and work hard for the development of the country.

1243: President Mugabe reiterates government’s commitment to provide affordable housing to the people of Zimbabwe and reduce the backlog on housing delivery.

1236: President Mugabe says efforts are being made to add two units in Kariba to the national power grid, a development expected to boost electricity generation to 78%.

1234: We all should be pleased that since January 2016, the country experienced 15 months without load shedding: President Mugabe, adding that uninterrupted power supply is a major boost to the local industry.

1230: “SMEs play a very important role in economic growth and employment creation.” President Mugabe In view of this, Government created a conducive environment for SMEs to shine,” President Mugabe.

President Mugabe speaks on the anticipated growth of the tourism sector and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) sector.

1228: On another note, President Mugabe bemourns loss of life and infrastructure damage due to heavy rains experienced across the country.

1225: Cde Mugabe lauds the government Command Agriculture Programme and the Presidential Input Scheme, which with the favourable rainy season, have led to a bumper harvest the country is expecting this year.

1222:  “Fellow Zimbabweans, now we enjoy the fruits of our independence and we can now call ourselves the masters of our own destiny. We, however, need to be mindful that our assignment is not yet over. We aspire to achieve economic development and self determination through the ZIMASSET economic blue print,” President Mugabe.

1221: “All the suffering and fight was not in vain,” President Mugabe, adding that “it is the duty of all Zimbabweans to safeguard this hard won sovereignty and freedom that enabled us to have full control our country’s economic resources.”

1219: President Mugabe pays tribute to ‘all Zimbabwe’s heroes and heroines and all the people who united in a resolute way to fight the protracted war and won the independence we have today.'”

1215: It’s now time for the key note address by HE. President Mugabe.

1209: The Minister of Local Government,Public Works and National Housing, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere is the the NSS and is on the podium to introduce the Guest of Honour, President Mugabe.

1159: At the NSS, we now receive a word of God and prayer from Apostle Pertunia Chiriseri of His Presence Ministries International. She thanks Zimbabwe’s leadership for not bowing to pressure from the international community for the country to accept unBiblical principles like same sex marriages.

The President lights the Independence Flame, signifying that Zimbabwe continues to march on as a free and prosperous nation

1153: President Mugabe lights the Independence Flame.

1150: As thousands of Zimbabweans from all corners of the city are converged at the NSS, let us remind you that the theme for this year’s celebrations is: “Zimbabwe @ 37: Embracing Ease of Doing Business for Socio-Economic Development.’

In Mashonaland East, people still trickling in and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Rtd Brig Gen Ambrose Mutinhiri has already inspected the parade made up of members from the ZDF, ZRP and ZPCS.

In Matabeleland North Province, service chiefs have arrived at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane and are now awaiting the arrival of the Minister of State, Ambassador Cain Mathema. Traditional leaders, Zanu PF Matabeleland North Provincial Chairman, Cde Richard Moyo and the Deputy Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu are in attendance.

Mashonaland West Minister of State, Cde Faber Chidsrikire takes to the podium to deliver the presidential speech. Public Service Minister, Cde Prisca Mupfumira and Zanu PF Mashonaland West Provincial Chairman, Cde Ephraim Chengeta are also in attendance at the Mashonaland West commemorations.

 

Masvingo Minister of State, Cde Shuvai Mahofa inspecting the guard of honour

1135: We are witnessing various marching displays at the NSS, with the uniformed farces providing music.

1129: Back at the NSS, President Mugabe is inspecting the guard of honour mounted by members of the ZNA, Air Force of Zimbabwe, ZRP and the ZPCS.

Service chiefs arrive at Mucheke stadium led by Brigadier General Exubios Tshuma.

1109: Everyone is up at the NSS to sing the National Anthem.

1105: As President Mugabe enters the stadium we hear liberation songs reminiscent of the inaugural independence celebrations on 18 April 1980.

1102: Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa also arrives shortly before sights of President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade entering the giant NSS.

1101: Back at the NSS, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko arrives.

 

In Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province, official proceedings have begun, with thousands in attendance.

Guest of Honour, Minister of State for the province, Cde Faber Chidarikire has arrived and has inspected a guard of honour mounted by the ZNA, Air Force of Zimbabwe, ZRP and the ZPCS.

Meanwhile, an independence musical gala was hosted in Chinhoyi last night and it featured upcoming  musicians from the province.

Organisers in Mat North are busy putting final touches and setting up the PA system as they await the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Ambassador Cain Mathema who will read the President’s speech.

1051: Hundreds of people are already gathered at Somhlolo stadium in Lupane for the 37th independence commemorations. Among those already in attendance are members of the local community, civil servants, Zanu PF leadership as well as Umguza legislator Dr Obert Mpofu.

The parade marching on to the parade square at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo to mark the beginning of the Provincial Independence celebrations

1035:  Live broadcast begins

ZBC OB van ready to broadcast from the NSS

1026: Those who could not make it to the NSS or any other venue for the celebrations, just sit back and relax as you can watch the live proceedings of the main celebrations in Harare on ZBC TV coming up shortly. We are onsite to bring you the proceedings from the comfort of your home.

 

Sights of part of the crowd at the NSS for the main independence celebrations

In Mutare, Manicaland Province, proceedings have also begun, with the Minister of State, Cde Mandi Chimene accompanied by service chief, has inspected the parade which was formed by four detachments. A delegation from Manica Province, Mozambique, headed by the Governor for Manica, Alberto Ricardo Montlane has also come to join the Zimbabwean community to mark the country’s 37 independence anniversary.

In Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, people have started flocking into Phelandaba Stadium and proceedings have kicked off with a mass parade comprising members of the uniformed forces and drum majorettes who marched from the Gwanda CBD to the stadium. Scores of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the colourful spectacle.

Meanwhile, children are reciting poems, highlighting the contribution of freedom fighters to achieve independence as the gathering awaits the arrival of service chiefs and the guest of honour, Cde Abednico Ncube.

0935:Remember various provinces are marking the independence anniversary with several entertainment activities lined up in provincial capitals.

0933: Alick Macheso also entertaining crowd.

Food vendors outside the NSS

0905: Brisk business for SMEs like food vendors at the NSS.

Andy Muridzo entertains the crowd at the NSS

0902: It’s entertainment galore at the NSS, with Andy Muridzo on stage.

0900: Zimbabwe turns 37 and proceedings already under way at the main celebrations at the NSS as scores of people arrive.

People arrive at the NSS for the independence celebrations

0858: Zimbabwe celebrates 37 years of independence from British rule, and we give you Live Updates from the main celebrations at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) in Harare.