The Sunday News
Levi Mukarati, Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWE is on a path to build its economy, establish a new future and through greater social cohesion and unity, the country shall rise again, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
The sentiments by the President have seen economic and political analysts saying despite the challenges facing the country being enormous, they were however, not insurmountable to deal with. President Mnangagwa said the country’s future was depended on national engagement and openness as well as the ability by Zimbabweans to push national interest first ahead of egotism.
The President said this in his Independence message to Zimbabwe, which he delivered at the National Sports Stadium where thousands of people had converged for the main celebrations. The same message was also delivered in the country’s nine other provinces by Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs.
Said President Mnangagwa: “As we celebrate our independence, our land and our people, we look forward to a future of engagement and openness; reform and modernisation; innovation and education. As a listening president, my ear will remain attentive to all Zimbabweans as we join hands for greater social cohesion and unity. We must always put the nation ahead of self-interest, as we recommit ourselves to a legacy of peace, love, unity, harmony and development. Together, we are building a new economy and a new future. Zimbabwe shall rise again.”
President Mnangagwa said despite the country having endured years of difficulties, its people had survived and never lost hope. He said in celebrating 39 years of freedom, it was paramount to self-introspect on the honouring of national values.
“These values must drive us forward. We can no longer afford to be concerned with mere survival. Let us instead seek to blossom, thrive and prosper as a nation, as a people, towards a brighter future in the Zimbabwe we all want.”
President Mnangagwa said collective efforts between citizens at home and abroad was paramount for the nation to prosper.
He said while foreign friends and investors were helping rebuild Zimbabwe’s economy, the ultimate obligation to turn around the country’s futures rested within the general citizenry. The President said Government would continue to engage a wide spectrum of stakeholders on socio-economic and political issues.
“I am aware that a notable part of our citizens are currently spread across the Diaspora,” he said. “The raft of reforms we have started should enable some of them to return home and assist in building our nation. As a listening President, my ear will remain attentive to all Zimbabweans as we join hands for greater social cohesion and unity. I commend the progressive-minded leaders of political parties, who are part of the National Political Parties Dialogue. This is the hallmark of mature, responsible and patriotic leadership, which puts national interests ahead of selfish ambition. The platform will enable us to have conversations that will help us to develop our country.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated that the freedom in Zimbabwe was born out a liberation struggle whose main driving force was repossession of land. In that regard, he said, his administration would never reverse the land reform programme.
Political analyst Mr Godwin Mureriwa described President Mnangagwa’s optimism of a brighter future was driven by a clear understanding of the direction his administration was taking the country to. Mr Mureriwa said the country’s future was bright on the back of the current efforts to create a conducive atmosphere for local and foreign investment, infrastructural development and support to the manufacturing sector. He said value addition and beneficiation of local products would bring huge benefits that will easily uplift the livelihoods of the people. He added that productivity and prosperity were collective responsibilities of every Zimbabwean regardless of political and other differences.
University of Zimbabwe Department of Economics chairperson Professor Albert Makochekanwa said President Mnangagwa needed to ensure that all the policy measures being introduced by Government are implemented. The main independence celebrations were also attended by Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi who were accompanied by the wives, Cabinet ministers, service chiefs, legislators, leaders of other political parties and members of the diplomatic community.