Zim celebrates 41st Independence anniversary
Harare (New Ziana) – President Emerson Mnangagwa on Sunday said Zimbabwe has registered several commendable successes on several fronts over the past year despite challenges posed mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was speaking at State House during a special virtual ceremony to commemorate Zimbabwe’s 41st Independence anniversary.
The celebrations, which were supposed to be held in Bulawayo, were done virtually for the second year running due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme: “Zimbabwe at 41: Together, Growing our Economy for a Prosperous, Resilient and Inclusive Society.”
President Mnangagwa said this year’s celebrations were being held on the backdrop of several successes registered in various fronts over the past year.
He said one of the biggest achievements was the commendable management of the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen Zimbabwe recording relatively low numbers of infections and deaths.
He said this was mainly due to the strict adherence to COVID-19 health guidelines by the majority of Zimbabweans and assistance from friendly countries that have provided medicines and other medical supplies.
Zimbabwe was also able to begin its vaccination exercise earlier than most countries on the continent.
“Zimbabwe is grateful for the financial and material support and solidarity from friendly nations and development partners in our efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. I also commend the local private sector, individuals, institutions of higher learning, churches and other stakeholders for their support,” he said.
“The dedication and sacrifice of frontline workers and security services is equally applauded. I congratulate you, our citizens for abiding by the national lockdown regulations and measures. The accomplishments we have made to date are due to the unity of purpose and spirit of oneness we have all shown.”
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to embrace the COVID-19 vaccination programme as it was the only way to defeat the pandemic.
He assured citizens of the efficacy of the vaccines being rolled out.
“I, therefore call upon the people of our great nation to go out in their numbers and get vaccinated. No one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.
On the agriculture front, President Mnangagwa said government was fully focused on increasing production and profitability of the sector, through facilitating farm mechanisation at affordable cost and the revitalisation of the country’s irrigation capacity among other strategies.
On livestock, he said, the Presidential Climate Proofed Livestock Scheme would help boost the national herd through an intensified artificial insemination programme, distribution of tick grease and the wide spread renovation of dip tanks across the country.
To ensure that farmers were paid on time for grain deliveries, President Mnangagwa said treasury had already set aside funds.
“Treasury has set aside ZW$60 billion for the timely payment of farmers by the Grain Marketing Board. The usual grain collection depots will be complemented by mobile and fixed collection points throughout the country,” he said.
Buoyed by budget surpluses, reduced inflation, President Mnangagwa said efforts to rebuild the economy would continue yielding desired results.
“Inflation, which had become a major source of macroeconomic instability, is being contained. The foreign currency auction system has also enhanced transparency and accountability in the distribution and use of foreign currency. I call upon Zimbabweans to exercise prudence and discipline towards the attainment of broader financial and economic stability in our country.
“The manufacturing sector has remained resilient to the pertinent shocks presented by the imposition of illegal sanctions, natural disasters and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Locally produced goods and commodities now constitute a larger share of our country’s market shelves.”
In the Sports and Arts sector, the President said progress had been marked by the refurbishment of crucial sports facilities including the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields stadium and the qualification by the national soccer team- the Warriors- to the 2022 African Cup of Nations.
“At the Continental level, Zimbabwe takes pride in having launched the Africa Fact Book, in September 2020, which is the first-ever publication that tells the African story from an African perspective. The country is also honoured to be the home of the Museum of African Liberation,” he said.
Such achievements, he said, were fruits of the country’s hard-won independence and ought to be cherished.
“As the Second Republic, we will never betray that which made the many sons and daughters of our motherland to wage the protracted liberation struggle, paying the supreme sacrifice. We will always protect the significance and sacred spirituality of our land,” he said.
“Commemoration of our National Independence Day is in essence a celebration of the victory attained in the liberation struggle fought by our gallant sons and daughters of the soil. The importance of protecting the gains of this hard-won Independence can, therefore, not be over-emphasised.
“It, therefore, comes as a befitting honour to construct the iconic statue of Mbuya Nehanda in Harare. The monument will be a permanent reminder and towering statement of motivation for future generations on the importance of serving the country wholeheartedly and defending it with unflinching patriotism and loyalty. In the same tone, the Liberation War Museum will be constructed.”
Going forward, President Mnangagwa said the achievements registered by the country over the years should be a source of great pride and joy for Zimbabweans.
“More importantly, however, let us look forward to the years ahead with a bright flame of hope for the next generation. We have begun this new decade of our Independence with greater determination, resolve and confidence to achieve the vision we set out for ourselves. A vision of an empowered people with a higher standard of living. A Vision of a thriving and prosperous economy, which plays its part within the comity of nations.
“Together, let us unite in our purpose, collate our potential and walk together hand-in-hand towards our common destiny. Through hard honest work and our trust in God Almighty, there is no limit to what our country can achieve, as we build the Zimbabwe we all want,” he said.