LIVE BLOG: INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATIONS

1148: The director of ceremony, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa has invited Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi to give a sermon.

1145: President Mnangagwa has lit the Eternal Flame.

1118: President Mnangagwa has now granted permission for the parade to march past in quick and slow motion.

President Mnangagwa is led to his seat after inspecting the guard of honour. Picture by Tawanda Mudimu

1116: President Mnangagwa, accompanied by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander  General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, is now inspecting the guard of honour.

1112: Parade commander has advised President Mnangagwa of the structure of the parade and also takes opportunity to invite him, as the Commander in Chief, to inspect the guard of honour.

President Mnangagwa inspects the guard of honour

1109: President Mnangagwa has stepped onto the podium and the National Anthem is now being sung.

1106: President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa have arrived.

1105: In Mutare, Minister of State for Manicaland provincial affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba is leading the celebrations at Sakubva Stadium.

Minister of State for Manicaland provincial affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba (with scarf)

1104: The main celebrations are at the National Sports Stadium but each of the country’s provinces are also hosting similar celebrations to mark the grand occasion.

Politburo members Cdes Angeline Masuku, Absalom Sikhosana and Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Cde Raj Modi among the people here at White City Stadium for the Independence celebrations

1103: Today’s celebrations are held under the theme “Zimbabwe @39 — Embracing Devolution for Vision 2030.”

1102: Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his wife Mary have arrived.

1057: Vice President Kembo Mohadi and wife have arrived.

1030: The service chiefs have arrived and taken their seats.

1000: Thousands of Zimbabweans have made way into National Sports Stadium for the country’s 39th Independence Celebrations.

Outside the stadium, there are long winding queues of people still trying to get in.