Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday treated youths across the country’s 10 provinces to delicacies and entertainment as the Southern African nation began celebrating its 41st Independence Day Anniversary.
The standout performer at the main party in the capital, Harare, was 12-year-old Zimdancehall star Herman Makombe whose education the Zimbabwe leader pledged to fund.
Zimbabwe hosts the children’s party on Independence eve yearly, giving youths an opportunity to interact with the President informally.
Reconfigured by Covid-19 prevention protocols, State House hosted this year’s main event as children outside Harare joined virtually.
President Mnangagwa commended the children for being “patient and disciplined in the face of Covid-19”.
“Well done, you made us very proud. We are aware that these times have not been very easy for you and the uncertainty you have experienced as a result of the adjusted school calendar.
“I ask you to be patient and remain disciplined. These times will pass: for now the fight against this Covid-19 pandemic is not over. You must therefore continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing or sanitising your hands.”
He said Government is improving the teaching materials and tools for teachers and constructing more schools to ensure that learners do not walk long distances.
The President called on schools to participate in national activities such as the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, Presidential Horticulture Programme, Borehole Drilling programme, Presidential Pass-on Poultry Scheme and the Climate Proofed Livestock Scheme.
He also said schools should be self-reliant by increasing their sources of income.
“I want to congratulate the schools in various provinces that have become centres of excellence as far as income generation projects are concerned.”
The President said the family, church and schools as national social institutions should encourage children and young people to cherish their national identity, heritage and unique cultural traditions and to shun alcohol, drugs and substance abuse while using social media platforms responsibly.
He said effective communication, peace and love, integrity, hard work, obedience, respect and “Ubuntu” must be encouraged, adding that the First Lady is teaching these across all the country’s provinces.