Home » Governance » By Invitation Only – Preps for Official 1980 Fiesta

As part of our countdown to Zimbabwe’s 24th Independence Day celebrations, we reproduce an article published by The Herald on April 7, 1980 on the preparations for the big day that was less than two weeks to April 18.Rebecca Jackson

Admission to the Independence Ceremony at Rufaro Stadium (in Harare) would be by invitation and will be strictly controlled, the Minister of the Public Service Mr Richard Hove said last night. Mr Hove said only invited guests would be able to attend the flag-raising ceremony because the country did not have a stadium big enough to hold all the people who would want to attend.

“However, in order to enable the general public to witness event as it is taking place, it will be broadcast live on television and on radio networks. Friday April 18 and Saturday April 19 will be public holidays so that all the people can take part in the celebrations,” he said.

Mr Hove was speaking in a television interview last night and further details of the Independence celebrations were later made available to The Herald.

He said: “The Prince of Wales will be visiting our country for this occasion, and we invited representatives from almost 100 countries to attend the celebrations.

“We would wish to appeal to the public certainly to enjoy themselves but to do it in a peaceful and orderly spirit. We would want the visiting foreign dignitaries and Heads of State to go back to their countries with a good impression of this country.”

Mr Hove said that the ceremony at Rufaro Stadium would signify the end of British rule in this country.

Something was organised for the districts while the official flag-raising in Salisbury was being held, “but the provincial capitals can start celebrating immediately after the official ceremony,” he said.

At noon on April 18, flag-raising ceremonies would be held in about 50 district centres throughout the country.

“A minister or deputy minister of or Member of Parliament will attend at each centre to participate. At the moment we are also trying a march past or military parade in each centre.”

He said that in addition to this a local committee had established at each centre to organise some form of celebration or entertainment which the local populace will be encouraged to attend.

Asked how the celebrations were to be financed, Mr Hove said: “The Government is providing a sizeable proportion of this expenditure. But we have also asked other centres to rely on their own resources.”

He said that in Bulawayo the celebrations committee there had formed a separate fundraising subcommittee which had already raised more than $33 000.

“I urge other people to follow this beautiful example. The time available to us to prepare for celebrations is very limited.”

Mr Hove also appealed to the public for transport and accommodation for visiting dignitaries.

“With the influx of visitors our facilities will be very strained. The hotel accommodation that is available will not be sufficient and so I would appeal to those of you who can accommodate any visitors to help us.”

Offers

He said offers of accommodation, either to foreign visitors or for those from other parts of the country should be made to Salisbury (Harare) Publicity Association, telephone 705085.

Mr Hove also appealed to those firms with cars they would not need from April 15 to April 20 to offer them if needed.

All such offers should be made to Commander S Trethowan of the Ministry Transport and Power (telephone 700693).

He also said employers should arrange parties for their employees.

“Already some employers are arranging parties for their employees on Thursday evening. If you’re an employer can you do something to help?

“I have had meetings with organisations such as ACCOR to ask them to get their members to do whatever they can and, in addition, an appeal has been made to the local authorities throughout the country.”

Decorations

Local authorities and city councils had been asked to do what they could to decorate the city for the occasion, “and you the public can do your part by helping to keep the city clean and to show our visitors that they are very welcome,” said Mr Hove.

In response to Mr Hove appeal to become involved in the independence celebrations, the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce will launch independence celebration fund, a statement said yesterday.

The Herald London Bureau writes that Whitehall sources said the foreign secretary, Lord Carrington would represent the British Government at the celebrations.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman thought it unlikely that Prince Charles would be able to accept any private social invitations during his short stay.

Bob Marley and The Wailers performed on independence eve. He composed a special song titled, Zimbabwe

Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,

And in this judgement there is no partiality.

So arm in arm, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,

‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.

Brother, you’re right, you’re right,

You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!

We gon’ fight (we gon’ fight), we’ll have to fight (we gon’ fight),

We gonna fight (we gon’ fight), fight for our rights!

Natty Dread it in-a (Zimbabwe)

Set it up in (Zimbabwe)

Mash it up-a in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Africans a-liberate (Zimbabwe), yeah.

No more internal power struggle

We come together to overcome the little trouble.

Soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionary,

‘Cause I don’t want my people to be contrary.

And, brother, you’re right, you’re right,

You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!

We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), we gonna fight (we gon’ fight)

We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

Mash it up in-a (Zimbabwe)

Natty trash it in-a (Zimbabwe)

Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

I’n’I a-liberate Zimbabwe.

(Brother, you’re right,) you’re right,

You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!

We gon’ fight (we gon’ fight), we’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight),

We gonna fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

To divide and rule could only tear us apart

In everyman chest, mm – there beats a heart.

So soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionaries

And I don’t want my people to be tricked by mercenaries.

Brother, you’re right, you’re right,

You’re right, you’re right, you’re so right!

We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), we gonna fight (we gon’ fight),

We’ll ‘ave to fight (we gon’ fight), fighting for our rights!

Natty trash it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Mash it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Set it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Natty dub it in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).

Set it up in-a Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)

Every man got a right to decide his own destiny.

Source : The Herald

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