All set for Heroes Day commemorations as MDCs threaten boycott

Cde Khaya Moyo

Cde Khaya Moyo

Leonard Ncube Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWE today commemorates the 33rd Heroes Day with Zanu-PF National Chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo saying this year’s event is a special honour to the country’s fallen heroes following the revolutionary party’s resounding victory in the just-ended harmonised elections.President Mugabe won the 2013 presidential election with an overwhelming 61,9 percent relegating close rival MDC-T’s Mr Morgan Tsvangirai who managed 33,94 percent of the vote.

In an interview, Cde Khaya Moyo said the fallen heroes’ spirits were happy that the “illusion of the opposition was evaporating”.
“This year’s commemoration is a special honour and plural tribute to our fallen heroes following the resounding victory by Zanu-PF in the recent elections,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.

“The commemorations are exceedingly exciting because the moment of truth is upon us and has taken centre stage. The people of Zimbabwe have eloquently spoken and the famous words that: ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’ have been applied.”

He said as the nation commemorates the day in all the 10 provinces today, nationalists such as Father Zimbabwe, the late Vice- President Dr Joshua Nkomo, were “resting in peace and comfort”.

“In spirit, we all join our fallen heroes in commemorating their day. We shall never betray them as it happened in 2008 and indeed Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.

As the rest of the nation commemorates the day today, MDC formations yesterday said they would not attend because they were not invited.
However, Cde Khaya Moyo said “that is their own funeral if they do not recognise the country’s liberators and it is sad because no one should invite them.”

There would be events in all the 10 provinces while President Mugabe would deliver his speech at the main event at the National Heroes Acre.
Provincial Governors are expected to read President Mugabe’s speech.

The MDC formations said they felt left out because they were not invited to be part of the preparations.
MDC-T Bulawayo provincial chairman Mr Gorden Moyo said his party was not part of the preparations.

“There was no invitation to us as a party from the organisers and since the day is tomorrow, we do not think we would be able to participate.
“We feel it is not correct for the organisers to leave us out because these heroes are not for a particular party but for the nation as a whole.

“We believe in all national programmes including the Heroes Day although we  have reservations about some of the heroes buried at the shrines, but we respect the principle of the commemorations,” said Mr Moyo.

His counterpart in Matabeleland North, Mr Sengezo Tshabangu, said although they were also not invited, they would attend simply because they recognised the day.
Mr Oscar Ncube, MDC Bulawayo provincial chairman, said his party would not be part of the commemorations.

“The provincial committee usually invites political parties but this time we were not contacted about the preparations. I sit in the provincial organising committee but we were deliberately left out because the tenure of the inclusive Government has ended,” said Mr Ncube.

“We recognise the commemorations but we will not be at any gathering. It is not that we do not respect the commemorations but we will be celebrating in our own way as a nation.”

However, Zapu regional coordinator for southern region Mr Mark Mbayiwa said his party would attend despite not being invited.
“Our members will attend because this is not a Zanu-PF event. We look at it from a liberation war point of view where we participated more than any other party including Zanu.

“We were not invited to the preparations, which means we are not invited to the commemorations but as a party we feel we cannot wait for an invitation because this is a national event,” said Mr Mbayiwa.

In Matabeleland North, Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Richard Moyo and Provincial Administrator Ms Latiso Dlamini said the programme starts at 10am.
“Preparations are going well. Mining companies have chipped in to help with food. We have mobilised people and invited everyone regardless of political affiliation through Jomic and we expect everyone to attend.

Governor (Thokozile) Mathuthu will read the speech which I have already collected in preparation for tomorrow,” said Ms Dlamini.
The commemorations will be at Lupane Provincial Heroes Acre.

Provincial Administrators in each province lead provincial organising committees and in Bulawayo, the PA Mrs Khonzani Ncube, said they were ready for the commemorations at Bulawayo Provincial Heroes Acre.

“We are just mopping up now. We have mobilised resources and we are happy with the support we got from the business community towards sprucing up the shrine,” said Mrs Ncube.

She said the programme would start at 8am and transport would be available at the traditional pick up points in the city’s 29 wards at 7am.
Governor Mathema will read President Mugabe’s speech while there will be entertainment in honour of the fallen heroes.

In Matabeleland South, the PA Mr Midard Khumalo, said they were working flat out for the commemorations at the Provincial Heroes Acre in Gwanda.
Tomorrow, White City Stadium will host the Defence Forces Day celebrations for Bulawayo while for Matabeleland North and South the venues would be at the two stadia, Somhlolo and Pelandaba.


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