Monday, April 18, 2016

Zimbabwe Urged to Defend Independence
April 18, 2016
Herald Reporters

ZIMBABWEANS today celebrate 36 years of freedom amid calls for the nation to unite and safeguard the gains of the liberation struggle. President Mugabe is expected to deliver a keynote address at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said today was reflection time. “Independence day is the day when we should reflect on our achievements and to say united we stand and divided we fall.

“We must use the day to fulfil people’s aspirations. We must never allow factionalism, tribalism, corruption to take root. In my view we must thank the leadership, President Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo for bringing together liberation movements under one umbrella. We must guard unity jealously,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.

He said there was a lot for Zimbabweans to celebrate.

“We are the most literate country on the continent. We thank the President himself, as an educationist he has led by example. The most important achievement is that we have reclaimed our land which was the basis of the liberation struggle,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.

Cde Khaya Moyo said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure the success of Government economic blueprint, Zim-Asset. He admitted the country, like any other nation, also faced challenges especially in the social services sector like health. “This is of course because of the illegal sanctions which we have spoken loudly that they must be removed. Our education sector is doing well,” he said.

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe and State Security Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi also rallied the nation to reflect on the gains of independence.

Dr Mushohwe said the country has enjoyed uninterrupted peace for the past 36 years and it was worth celebrating. “These are 36 years of a united country, of a united people, of a country that enjoys peace,” he said. Cde Mohadi said Independence Day was a time for the nation to reflect and dedicate itself to the ideals of the liberation struggle.

“The time has come to dedicate ourselves to the ideals of the struggle. Let us zero back, reflect and re-dedicate ourselves to the protection and defence of the gains of the liberation struggle,” he said. Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Cde Miriam Chikukwa urged residents to converge at the National Sports Stadium in their numbers to mark this important day.

At least 30 buses will ferry people from different parts of the country to the main event on Monday. People should be at their usual pick-up points at 5.30am. “Jah Prayzah, Suluman Chimbetu and other artistes will perform on Independence Day,” she said. Highlanders Football Club and Chicken Inn are expected to clash in the Independence Cup final after they beat Harare giants Dynamos and Zvishavane-based Platinum FC, respectively.

In Manicaland, Provincial Affairs Minister Mandi Chimene said the main celebrations would be held at Sakubva Stadium. “We have invited visitors from Mozambique who will join us. Our celebrations will start today (last night) where we will have a dinner at the Showgrounds. Nhasi hakurarwi,” said Minister Chimene.

In Masvingo Province, the main commemorations will be held in Mucheke Stadium and Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Shuvai Mahofa will be guest of honour. “We are expecting a full house at Mucheke Stadium tomorrow (today) as Masvingo joins the rest of the country in commemorating our hard-won Independence that came at a great price following a protracted war of liberation to remove the colonial regime,’’ said Cde Mahofa.

Preparations for the Uhuru have also gathered momentum in Matabeleland South. Provincial Administrator Mr Mildard Khumalo said major celebrations would be at Pelandaba Stadium in Gwanda. “We have covered a lot of ground in terms of logistics and we are ready to roll,” said Mr Khumalo.

He said Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of National Culture and Heritage Minister Abednico Ncube would be guest of speaker. Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for the Midlands Province Cde Jason Machaya said major celebrations would be held at Mkoba Stadium.

“This is a celebration that knows no political party, religion or tribe simply because it brought independence for all. It is a day that made a big difference in everybody’s life. We must all cherish it,” said Minister Machaya.

In Bulawayo, all roads lead to White City Stadium where the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Cde Nomthandazo Moyo will deliver the President’s speech. “The last 15 years have been difficult for us as a nation. We are still struggling but let us celebrate, work hard and be hopeful that we will be on our feet soon. The country should treasure the gains of Independence and support the Government as it works towards reviving the country’s economy.”

In Matabeleland North, the main event will be held at Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane. Cde Cain Mathema, the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs, called for unity among Zimbabweans, saying if the people are not united there would be no development in the country.

“We must be united and work hard to fight poverty in the country. Nobody should view themselves as more important than the other,” said Minister Mathema. Opposition parties issued a joint statement yesterday urging the Government to address the economic challenges facing the country.

The political parties include the MDC-T, MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube, African Democratic Party, Mavambo Kusile Dawn, National Constitutional Assembly, People’s Democratic Party, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe, Zapu led by Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, Zimbabweans United for Democracy and the Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment.

“We the democratic opposition political parties on this Independence Day pledge to the people of Zimbabwe our commitment to work together with the people to find collective and common solutions to restore our national economy, secure land rights to our people, restore the dignity of the people,” read the joint statement.

Zimbabwe People First interim president Dr Joice Mujuru criticised the Zanu-PF Government for the current economic environment. She condemned the land reform programme saying bad policies destroyed agriculture.

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