PRESIDENT Mugabe waves to children who attended yesterday’s independence party he hosted at the City Sports Centre in Harare. On his right is Youth Development, Indegenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Safeguard independence, President tells youths
Sunday, 17 April 2011 21:02
By Farirai Machivenyika
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday underscored the importance of teaching the young generation about Zimbabwe's road to independence to safeguard the country's hard won freedom from subversion by hostile nations in the future.
The President, who was speaking at the annual party he hosts every year for children drawn from all the country's 10 administrative provinces to celebrate the country's independence, urged youths to be the vanguard of the nation's hard-won independence.
Today is the 31st annivesary of our independence and democracy.
"We invite you every year a day or two before our celebration of independence because we realise that the life of Zimbabwe, the life of our nation lies in you, lies in our children and unless our children are made conscious of the reality of our independence and become fully aware of how that independence was obtained, then along the way there is a danger that we might lose our independence," he said.
President Mugabe said Britain, Zimbabwe's former coloniser was still trying to recolonise the country through clandestine means.
"Those who colonised us yesterday are looking for ways to come back not through the political route as before but through the economic and social routes.
"They will come by taking control of our resources, taking control of our institutions and swaying the minds of our people, when they are in that kind of control then our minds will be controlled.
"Those who control the economy by making you workers would also want to control your mind, they would be economic masters and you would be employees," he said.
President Mugabe said it is important that children as future leaders cherish the country's independence.
"You should become masters of your own destiny, we want you to realise that Zimbabwe is yours, it belongs to you and therefore you must guard against those who might want to take it from you either directly or indirectly," he said.
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said the British were not qualified to lecture Zimbabwe on democracy as it was the indigenous people who fought to bring freedom and democracy to the country.
"That is why we say let the outsiders keep out and not interfere with our domestic affairs, we are an independent people, all our children are independent and we do not need anyone to tell us what to do and least of all those we pushed out.
"They used to suppress us and when we fought we were fighting for democracy, they cannot teach us democracy, it is us who taught them democracy, they should shut their stupid mouths," the President said.
The President said Africans had freed themselves and regional blocs such as Sadc and Comesa were an expression of that freedom and independence.
He said Government had come up with various initiatives to ensure that Zimbabwe takes control of the economy.
"We are working on a programme to give full power to our people to own their resources, the indigenisation and empowerment programmes.
"That programme is meant really to empower our youths who leave school not just, as before to become employees but owners of resources, employers in developing their country instead of relying on foreigners," he said.
He said it is important that children get adequate education so that they become productive citizens.
"If you are uneducated in a world of great intellectuals, where ideas and systems have become very intellectual, if you cannot cope with the demands of the world and you cannot adjust to it you become a nobody.
"If you become a heap of flesh with no intellect you become a football for other people, they will use you," President Mugabe said.
The President urged children to desist from alcohol and drugs abuse saying they retard intellectual growth.
"Since you are still pursuing your education and you are still growing in mind and body, let nothing interrupt that natural development of mind and body.
"Don't do anything that disrupts that natural development or ruin it completely, so stay away from those things, drinks and drugs, that ruin you.
Don't drink alcohol it is ruinous, it is addictive," he said.
President Mugabe said youths should take part in sporting activities to preserve their health.
"If your mind is not healthy, you are as good as an insane person and nothing can be done, that is why I say stay away from drugs they will ruin your mind," he said.
The President said Zimbabwe's independence was for everyone irrespective of colour or ethnic group and should be a symbol of unity.
He assured civil servants that Government was looking at ways of improving their salaries and conditions of service.
"We in Government must do something and do something very quickly and I can promise you we are doing something, a lot needs to be done to improve the levels of salaries," he said.
The President recently met with Government workers' representatives and promised that their salaries would be reviewed in June. He said the least paid workers, currently earning US$129 excluding allowances, should at least earn half of the Poverty Datum Line that is around US$501.