Bulawayo (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday led the country’s historic 42nd independence commemorations – the first to be held outside the capital.
The celebrations were well attended by leaders from various political parties under the POLAD banner as well as representatives of the newly formed Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change.
Speaking at the celebrations, President Mnangagwa said by holding the event outside Harare, his administration had fulfilled its promise to decentralise and include everyone and every place.
“This year’s celebrations are historic and extraordinary in that they are the first in which the main commemorations are being held outside the capital City of Harare.
“As per the promise of the Second Republic, the days of Harare being “bambazonke” are now behind us. We are strengthening our unity, enhancing national cohesion and entrenching peace within our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone,” he said.
Future independence celebrations will be held on a rotational basis by all the country’s provinces.
He urged citizens to unite for a common purpose.
” As a diverse but one nation that is united under one National Flag; we reaffirm and reinforce our unity, love and harmony for one another and for our great country. We refuse to be divided. The cords that bind us are much stronger than any differences which we may ever encounter.
“In unity, Zimbabwe is rising; no one and no place shall be left behind as we march forward towards our Vision of a prosperous and empowered upper middle income country by 2030,” he said.
On devolution, President Mnangagwa revealed that ZWL$42 billion was allocated in the 2022 budget to ensure all the country’s regions take charge of their development.
“At central Government level, the Ministries of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution have been re-focused with emphasis on the development and implementation of provincial economic development programmes, projects and plans.
“Dialogue and consultations are a cardinal value system of the Second Republic. Drawing from this, all stakeholders within our provinces are called upon to work together with greater cooperation and unity of purpose for the growth of our respective Provincial GDPs,” he said.
To ensure effectiveness of the arms of government, President Mnangagwa told the thousands gathered at Barbourfields Stadium that performance contracts signed by office holders would keep the public officials on a leash.
“In all the endeavours of Government, the values of good governance, transparency and accountability to the people, will continue to be upheld,” he said.
For any nation to develop, President Mnangagwa said the youth and women should be involved hence the establishment of their quotas in both parliament and local authorities.
“The proportional representation women’s quota in the National Assembly was extended, while a 30 percent women’s quota has been effected in our Local Authorities. Similarly, 10 seats have been reserved for the youth in the National Assembly.
“In line with our programme on youth empowerment, young people in various Districts throughout the country will benefit from the Vocational Training and Skills Outreach Programmes,” he said.