Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe is grateful for the support it continues to receive from friendly countries with whom it relates based on mutual respect and win-win partnerships, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Monday.
Speaking at the burial of national hero, Highten Nkomo, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was most grateful to countries such as the Soviet Union (now Russian Federation), China, Cuba, Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia that provided training, financial and moral support during its war of liberation.
“To this day, that support remains the bedrock that anchors our unshakeable cordial and fraternal relations with these countries,” he said.
“Our erstwhile colonisers now come back to us feigning to be human rights champions, only by day as by night they continue to pursue nefarious programmes to subvert our independence, sovereignty and freedom. The then Soviet Union, China and other countries demonstrated their true friendship and respect for our freedom and human rights by helping us to attain our independence and sovereignty. These countries pursue friendly, progressive and win-win relations never ever seeking to degrade our self-identity.
“Hence, we call upon some of the Western countries pursuing a confrontational approach in relating with Zimbabwe to turn a new leaf. Guided by our Engagement and Re-engagement Policy, Zimbabwe is committed to be a friend to all and an enemy of none.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was also grateful to African countries that buttressed the call for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions at the just-ended 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
“Whilst those who imposed these sanctions continue with this economic strangulation, punishing us for reclaiming our land, let us remain united as one people, all pulling in one direction. Despite the sanctions, our country has moved from recovery to growth, under the National Development Strategy,” he said.
He said while Zimbabwe was eager to be a friend to all and an enemy to none, President Mnangagwa said Western countries continued pursuing a confrontational approach.
On top of economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Kingdom, Western countries have been at the forefront of promoting local opposition parties and Non-Governmental Organisations in pursuit of a regime change agenda.
President Mnangagwa said the government was accelerating the quest to realise Vision 2030, through pursuing various policies and programmes to leap-frog the development of the country.
“Through our own resources, we are building our country brick by brick and stone upon stone. It is none but ourselves who have the responsibility to build a prosperous and peaceful Zimbabwe,” he said.
“I also call upon our youth to emulate our departed National Hero. Here lies a cadre who opted out of school at a very tender age and sacrificed his life to join the armed struggle in pursuit of national Independence even though he was born and grew up in exile.
He said while support from foreign countries was an important aspect in the country’s development narrative, the onus to build a better country was on Zimbabweans, both at home and in the Diaspora.
“Drawing from this kind of commitment to our motherland, I challenge our young Zimbabweans born and growing up in the Diaspora, to remain connected and loyal to our great country. You are always welcome back to play your part. In honour of the sacrifices made by the late comrade Nkomo and other departed cadres, our youth are further challenged to be patriotic and responsible so that they commit themselves to acquiring a good education and working in various ways to develop Zimbabwe. Our youth in tertiary institutions are urged to resist and reject the various machinations by political opportunists.”