AS the final countdown to the dawn of a new era, the launch of a new State of Zimbabwe at the break of a new day on 18 April 1980 took centre stage, President Mugabe touched the world with a moving speech, as he went down memory lane, and also cast his eyes to the future, urging Zimbabweans from all walks of life to cherish our hard fought independence and live in harmony.
“The march to our national independence has been a long, arduous and hazardous one. On this march, countless lives have been lost and many sacrifices made.
Death and suffering have been the prize we have been called upon to pay for the final priceless reward of freedom and national independence. May I thank all of you who have had to suffer and sacrifice for the reward we are now getting.
“Tomorrow we shall be celebrating the historic event, which our people have striven for nearly a century to achieve. Our people, young and old, men and women, black and white, living and dead, are, on this occasion, being brought together in a new form of national unity that makes them all Zimbabweans. Independence will bestow on us a new personality, a new sovereignty, a new future and perspective, and indeed a new history and a new past.
“Tomorrow we are being born again; born again not as individuals but collectively as a people, nay, as a viable nation of Zimbabweans.
“Tomorrow is thus our birthday, the birth of a great Zimbabwe, and the birth of its nation. Tomorrow we shall cease to be men and women of the past and become men and women of the future. It’s tomorrow then, not yesterday, which bears our destiny.
As we become a new people we are called to be constructive, progressive and forever forward looking, for we cannot afford to be men of yesterday, backward-looking, retrogressive and destructive. Our new nation requires of every one of us to be a new man, with a new mind, a new heart and a new spirit. Our new mind must have a new vision and our new hearts a new love that spurns hate, and a new spirit that must unite and not divide.” (www.zbc.co.zw).
As we celebrate another anniversary of our Independence Day on Tuesday, we should take time to listen to the words of wisdom from the President, a man who has gone through all forms of weather and remains one of the few living founding fathers of liberation movements in the entire continent.
The message he gave to the country in 1980 still holds water today, and will always remain relevant in future, because the message was full of life lessons from the past, and also looking at the future, giving pointers on how every Zimbabwean should contribute to the well-being of the country and the values that we should always illustrate — the values of ubuntu.
The spirit of ubuntu tells us that we should respect our elders and in the same vein, we should respect the country’s leadership, respect the laws of the land and always endevour to treat our neighbours in the same manner we would want them to treat us.
Moreover, we should never stray from the teachings of the founding fathers of the liberation struggle, and always endeavour to make sure that the destiny of Zimbabweans is championed by Zimbabweans, and not by any outside forces who have since the turn of the millennium found willing partners in opposition political parties.
We take this opportunity to say once again, Happy Independence anniversary Zimbabwe, Amhlophe, Makorokoto!