Defence Forces Day yesterday brought some temporary relief to small-time food and paraphernalia vendors, as they made a killing from the large crowd, which mostly came to enjoy popular musicians, parachute displays and the free football match.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
The outside of the giant National Sports Stadium resembled a huge food fair, as vendors sold dishes such as sadza and offals, chips and chicken or sausages, as well as soft drinks, fruit juice and ice-cream.
Zanu PF regalia like shirts and caps emblazoned with President Robert Mugabe’s signature were also on sale and many vendors said they were happy with the brisk business.
“We are having some good sales here due to the high turnout,” Ngoni Kufa, from Warren Park, said.
While those outside enjoyed their windfall, those inside could not have enough of the entertainment from sungura superstar, Alick Macheso, dancehall artiste Soul Jah Love and the gyrating Mbare Chimurenga Choir.
All the artistes outdid themselves as they were on the grand stage, as among their audience were Mugabe and the First Family.
Mugabe was in the company of his wife Grace, sons Robert Jnr and Berllamine and son-in-law, Simba Chikore. The only notable absentee was Bona, who is nursing her three-month-old son.
Military displays also provided entertainment to the bumper crowd.
Meanwhile, Mugabe yesterday officially unveiled the colours of military brigades. Among the brigades were the three infantry battalions, Artillery Brigade, Presidential Guard Brigade, Mechanised Engineering Brigade, Paramilitary, Harare and Bulawayo Districts.
After independence in 1980, only the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Commando Brigade colours were officially unveiled.
Colours (flags) usually act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander. This is widely believed to have originated in ancient Egypt some 5 000 years ago. The flags depict animals such as leopards, crocodiles and artillery.