DeMbare, Bosso in Uhuru date

Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere

GIANTS Dynamos and Highlanders are set to clash twice in just over a month as they have been short-listed to compete in the 2024 President’s Independence Trophy in Manicaland.

The football match pitting the country’s two biggest teams is expected to put the icing on the festivities to be held on April 18.

Manica Diamonds, from the hosting province, and Simba Bhora of Mashonaland Central who hosted the previous anniversary in 2023, are both part of the festivities as they are billed to entertain the crowds after the annual children’s party that precedes the main Independence Day celebrations.

The annual Uhuru commemorations are set to be held outside the two major cities of Harare and Bulawayo for the second year in a row after the cabinet announced that the celebrations will be hosted in Murambinda, Manicaland.

This is in line with the Second Republic’s drive towards the promotion of national unity, devolution, and decentralisation. The previous celebrations and the last edition of the Uhuru Cup were held in Mt Darwin with marked success.

“Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum on the update on preparations for the 2024 Independence Anniversary and children’s party celebrations, which was presented by Hon. Vice President KCD Mohadi as the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on State Occasions and National Monuments,” the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, said when addressing journalists during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare on Tuesday.

“The nation is informed that the 2024 Independence Anniversary and children’s party celebrations will be held in Manicaland Province.

“The nation is further advised that Murambinda B Secondary School will host the 2024 Independence Anniversary celebrations; Murambinda A Primary School will host the children’s party, while Murambinda B Primary School will host the Independence Anniversary gala.

“The nation is informed that the teams competing for the President’s Independence Trophy will be Highlanders and Dynamos Football Clubs and that going forward, a team from the hosting province should compete with a team from the previous hosting province, with Manica Diamonds Football Club from Manicaland Province playing Simba Bhora Football Club from Mashonaland Central Province after the children’s party.”

Defending champions Highlanders will have an opportunity to equal DeMbare as the most successful team in this invitational tournament, which has changed form and format since 1980 when Zimbabwe’s Warriors hosted Zambia at Rufaro in the inaugural match and snatched a memorable 2-1 win, thanks to goals from the late greats David Mandigora and Shackman Tauro.

Bosso took their tally of Independence titles to nine last year after edging Dynamos 5-3 on penalties, following a goal-less affair in regulation time, in Mt. Darwin.

Highlanders walked away with a US$35 000 cheque for their triumph while DeMbare got US$25 000.

Bosso has claimed the bragging rights in the recent Uhuru finals featuring the two giants. They have won the last three events in 2019, 2022, and 2023, with DeMbare claiming the 2021 edition at the National Sports Stadium.

The giants are also expected to warm up the stage for this year’s Castle Lager Premiership when they meet in the opening fixture of the 2024 Premiership season.

Herald

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