Zimbabweans in the United States on Thursday join compatriots back home in marking the day the country attained political independence from Great Britain.
Different groups have lined up festivities to mark the day and for the first time in years the Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington D.C. is inviting all Zimbabweans resident in the U.S. to a party to celebrate the nation’s 33rd anniversary.
Information sent to Zimbabweans here shows the response from the community has been huge forcing the Zimbabwe Embassy to move the reception to mark the 18th of April to a bigger venue in Casey Community Center, Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Another independence celebration, hosted by the Zimbabwe Diaspora Home-Front Interface Initiative, also in Washington DC, will be held Saturday at a local hotel.
The Zimbabwe Diaspora Home Front Initiative is a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the Zimbabweans in the diaspora and the state and non-state actors, including the private sector.
It aims to promote the convergence and dissemination of ideas that promote economic growth and development through improved investment, knowledge generation and exchange.
Dr. Norbert Mugwagwa is the chairperson of the diaspora initiave organizing Saturday’s independence celebration.
He told VOA the occasion provides Zimbabweans in the diaspora with an opportunity to meet and share ideas about how to move their country forward and related issues.
“The fact of the matter is that we have got every reason to celebrate Zimbabwe’s 33rd independence. First, we are independent,” said Mugwagwa. “Secondly, we have just accepted and adopted a new constitution through a referendum and that is good news.”
He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora are keen to get involved in activities concerning their country.
“So we really felt like it was important for us out here in the diaspora to come out and share solidarity with our people out there,” said Mugwagwa.
“As you know Zimbabweans in the diaspora have a strong wish to support development back home – they may or may not go back – but their resolve to do something about their country is very strong.”
Mugwagwa said his organization, which was launched in December, will continue to reach out to Zimbabweans in the United States to document their skills for networking purposes but also to see in what sectors of the economy and society back home they can make a difference.