Manicaland, sovereignty intertwined: Pres Mnangagwa
Makoni (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday Manicaland province bore the brunt of the war of independence and should therefore lead in safeguarding the gains of the painful struggle by voting, in next week’s elections, for the ruling ZANU-PF party which prosecuted the fight for freedom from colonial rule.
The province shares a long border with Mozambique, one of the neighbouring countries from where guerillas fighting for Zimbabwe’s independence were based.
President Mnangagwa said not only was the province one of the main battlegrounds, it also contributed enormously in terms of guerilla fighters, and nationalist leaders.
He was speaking at an election campaign rally at Handina Secondary School, in Makoni South, where an estimated 200 000 party supporters braved the chilly weather and gathered.
“It is no doubt that Manicaland province is the ruling party’s stronghold. This is where most of the liberation war heroes were born and trained, not to mention that the current Minister of Defense and War Veteran’s Affairs, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri hails from the same province itself,” he said.
“Manicaland bore the brunt of the liberation war as the transit corridor for soldiers who sought training in
neighbouring Mozambique. Just like the fish and water relationship, the province was the water in which the fish (war liberators) survived in and managed to conquer colonialism and imperialism,” President Mnangagwa said.
He said the province also contributed some of the finest liberation war leaders, such as the late party presidents Herbert Chitepo and Ndabaningi Sithole, and top leaders Edgar Tekere, Morris Gumbo, Rekai Tangwena and Victoria Chitepo.
He said with such a rich revolutionary history and background, it was only incumbent upon Manicaland province to vote for the ruling party in the August 23 vote in order to preserve the gains of the bitter armed struggle for independence.
Zimbabwe goes to the polls next week to elect a new leader, and parliamentary and local government representatives to run state affairs for the next five years.
President Mnangagwa is vying for a second term in the highest office in the land and is widely expected to brush off the challenge from ten other presidential aspirants.
He urged people to remain peaceful in the run-up, during and after voting, saying this was a prerequisite for development in the country.
Peace and development – economic and social – have been key buzzwords of his campaign, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of supporters to his rallies countrywide.
“With peace, unity and non-violence, Zanu PF will continue developing the country in leaps and bounds as evidenced by the progress made by the Second Republic in the past three years in which the economy has become the fastest growing one in the SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) region,” President Mnangagwa said.
Since assuming office in 2017, his government has championed equal social and economic development across the country, which has positively transformed the lives of millions of people, even in previously marginalised communities.