LIVE-DEFENCE FORCES DAY CELEBRATIONS

1017: All is set for the National Defence Forces Day celebrations to be held at the National Sports Stadium today. President Mnangagwa is expected to officiate.

The service chiefs arrive led by Commander Defence Forces General Phillip Valerio Sibanda

1020: Service chiefs have arrived for the celebrations.

1026: Vice President Mohadi arrives at the stadium amidst cheers from the crowd.

Vice President Mohadi arrives

1037: Ululation and cheers from the crowd as President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa arrive at the National Sports Stadium.

1039: Th arrival of the President and the singing of the national anthem marks the beginning of the celebrations.

1043: The parade commander invites President Mnangagwa to inspect the Parade.

President Mnangagwa inspects the parade accompanied by ZDF Commander General PV Sibanda (saluting)

1048: The President finishes inspecting the Parade and takes his seat

1051: Delegations from the defence forces of South Africa and Lesotho are also present at the National Sports Stadium

1054: Chaplain-General Colonel Joseph Nyakudya is now giving a sermon.

1059: Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri is now on the podium.

“We are humbled Your Excellency to host you as our guest honour at his occasion,” she says.

1101: Chinhoyi Stadium is filled to the brim as residents have turned up in their numbers to commemorate the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day. The main parade has just entered the stadium as we wait the arrival of guest of honour Provincial Affairs Minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka

Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Mary Mliswa-Chikoka arrives at Chinhoyi Stadium

1102: Minister Muchinguri paid tribute to the SA defence forces for their assistance to the affected families in Manicaland due to cyclone Idai. She said the ZDF is not only there to guard the nation but also in carrying out community developmental projects in all the provinces of Zimbabwe

1110: She concludes her speech. Next is the outlining of Colours by the Airforce of Zimbabwe

1142: In Mashonaland Central, at Chipadze Stadium, the headquarters artillery brigade has mounted a parade as we await the arrival of Minister of State Senate Monica Mavhunga and other dignitaries

1202: President Mnangagwa will confer awards in honour of members of the ZDF who played outstanding roles in saving lives and assisting victims of cyclone Idai