Rhodes to witness Pres Mugabe’s celebrations
By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
A place that bears the name of the infamous British imperial chief, Cecil John Rhodes has been chosen as the venue for this year’s 21st February Movement Celebrations.
The ZANU PF Youth League has selected Rhodes Preparatory School’s rugby grounds as a suitable venue for the annual celebrations to mark the birthday of President Mugabe.
And just a stone throw away from the Rhodes Preparatory School is the majestic Matopo Hills where Cecil John Rhodes, the man who led the colonization of Zimbabwe was buried.
In fact, Zimbabwe’s colonial name Rhodesia is derived from his name as the man through his De Beers Company sought to acquire large swathes of land north of the Limpopo that included Malawi and Zambia.
In its wisdom, the ZANU PF Youth League led by Kudzanai Chipanga this year decided to hold the 21st February Movement Celebrations close to Matopo Hills in Matabeleland South.
The 21st February Movement is an annual event set to commemorate the birthday of President Mugabe. It is more than just a birthday celebrations as guests reflect upon the life and achievement of the revolutionary icon born on February 21, 1924.
Speaking at a preparatory meeting at Matopos Research Centre on Monday, legislator for Matobo North Never Khanye, a member of the organizing committee said the initial venue at Hazel Site in the Matopo National Park had been changed because of limited space.
More than 100 000 thousands guests mainly youths are expected to attend the one-day event which will be punctuated with speeches, cultural dances, choral music and drama.
“We have set a target to raise 150 cattle for the event, we are appealing to well-wishers to do so willingly and not to come again tomorrow and say were forced. All A2 farmers who got offer letters must donate a beast each for this event and those that fail will take it that they don’t appreciate what the President has done for them,” said Khanye.
ZANU PF youth league leader Chipanga expressed confidence in the choice of the venue saying, the choice was in line with this year’s theme of promoting domestic tourism.
“Coming to such sites is within our theme of ‘promoting domestic tourism.
We went to Matabeleland North two years ago and had a similar event at Victoria Falls. We went to Masvingo last year, we were at Great Zimbabwe, we are in Matabeleland South, we are in Matopos and we are in line with our theme of promoting domestic tourism,” Chipanga said.
Chipanga however said the actual date for event was yet to be decided. Some have however questioned the idea of having the celebrations close to Rhodes grave, a stark reminder of the brutal colonial conquest of Zimbabwe.