Zimbabwe launches monthly national clean up day

President Mnangagwa greets shoppers during a national clean-up campaign at Fife Avenue Shopping Centre in Harare yesterday. Innocent Makawa

Every first Friday of each month has been declared as a “national clean-up day” by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa made the call on Friday after joining his aidesat the State House to clean their offices and the surrounding environment.

Later he took on twitter to encourage citizens to take part in what he said would be a monthly communal cleaning activity.

“This morning I joined other State House staff members in the inaugural national clean-up day,” Mnangagwa tweeted.

He added, “This important initiative will take place on the first Friday of each month, and I encourage everyone to join us next time!”

Local media reports also indicated that President Mnangagwa also made a surprise appearance at Fife Avenue Shopping Centre in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare where he cleaned up shops and areas around the complex.

Reports also indicate that Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga also took part in the newly adopted the national monthly clean-up service in Eastlea, Harare, where he told participants that cleanliness should be “a new culture.”

According to The Herald of Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said in an interview that there was need to inculcate a culture of cleanliness in the country.

“Ndiripazororo. (I am on my annual leave). I just came to see if people have taken heed of the call that I made of cleaning their environment. I am happy that in most places that I have passed through people are cleaning up the environment,” said the President.

“It is a programme that I wish to take root among people whether here in urban areas or in the rural areas,” Mnangagwa added.

He challenged Zimbabweans to ensure the environment is always clean.

“We need not just wait for the first Friday of the beginning of the month, but every day one should ensure that his or her environment is clean. It has to be a culture. We cannot be outdone by other countries, which I will not mention by names. They are clean. Our vision is that in our country by end of this year you will not see litter. It should be a culture for every Zimbabwean. All of us where we stay, our workplace, where we sleep, our homes where we eat, should be clean.”

The monthly communal clean-up exercise, which is well-known to Rwandans as “Umuganda”, swept through Zimbabwe on Friday with several government officials and leaders of the private sector taking lead in the community service, according to media reports.

In the Midlands province, people were seen cleaning the central business district in Kwekwe and Redcliff. There was a huge response from various Government departments and the corporate world, The Herald reported.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied by State Security Minister Owen Ncube and other senior Government officials. The nation responded positively yesterday to the national clean-up exercise.

In Mashonaland East, provincial Environmental Management Agency manager Juliet Mavhu commended the province for heeding the President’s call by cleaning up the provincial capital, Marondera.

Mavhu said the response from stakeholders was overwhelming.

“Let me commend the response from various organisations in this province. It is positive as you know the President made the call recently and we launched the campaign, the response is just good,” she said.