BULAWAYO Metropolitan Affairs minister Angeline Masuku yesterday collapsed while reading out President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Independence Day speech at White City Stadium, delaying proceedings for at least 30 minutes as health personnel attended to her.
BY STAFF REPORTERS/OWN CORRESPONDENTS
Before she collapsed, Masuku stammered and kept repeating some sentences over and over.
“Please, can somebody come and assist me. I am feeling dizzy,” she shouted, triggering panic among top government officials seated in the VIP tent.
She later continued with her speech after regaining strength.
Provincial administrator Khonzani Ncube told the gathering that Masuku had been advised by her doctor to rest, but she insisted on officiating at the occasion.
Meanwhile, a female police officer and a soldier collapsed while on parade during Uhuru celebrations at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo.
The embarrassing incidents happened as guest of honour, Provincial Affairs minister Josaya Hungwe was delivering the Presidential speech.
In Hwange, the Independence celebrations nearly flopped after only a handful of people, mostly civil servants and schoolchildren, turned up for the event, as residents shied away, saying there was nothing for them to celebrate.
Among those who snubbed the event were Hwange Colliery Company workers’ wives, who have camped at the firm’s premises for the past three months demanding their husbands’ outstanding salaries.
“To us, this is not an independence era, but time of enslavement. They came here to invite us to attend the celebrations, but we refused and that is why we are here,” one of the protesters said.
“More than 500 families are camped here with no certainty of tomorrow, yet they instruct us to attend freedom celebrations. No! That is not going to happen.”
Celebrations in Karoi were also marred by poor attendance, with residents accusing government officials of failing to properly advertise the event.