President Emmerson Mnangagwa hugged former Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Zimbabwe’s second post-independence leader was presiding over the 43rd Independence Day commemorations attended by multitudes in Mount Darwin, a small rural town with newly-tarred roads, a pristine stadium, newly painted schools and even traffic lights.
Former Vice President Joice Mujuru was also a conspicuous figure under the VIP tent.
Mujuru, once a rival to Mnangagwa during the height of Zanu PF’s internal succession wars under late President Robert Mugabe, took moments to hug the incumbent, First Lady Auxillia and Zanu PF vice presidents Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga, also state VP.
Mujuru, whose nom de guerre was Teurai Ropa, said she was lost for words in view of the honour bestowed on the province by President Mnangagwa.
“There is no history of this country without Mashonaland Central and Mt Darwin in particular because of the level of the struggle which was fought by the locals here. That’s why even protected villages were really tough to stay in, especially for us girl children and mothers.
“We felt it more than anyone else and that’s why I decided to join the struggle. So by having this recognition showered on us by the President and Government, I am telling you I have no words to say thank you. We just have to say this is the highest honour that we have been given as the people of Mashonaland Central and Mt Darwin in particular,” said Mujuru.