Source: ‘Time for politics is behind us’ | The Herald August 14, 2018
The following is the address by President Mnangagwa at the National Heroes Acre on the occasion of Heroes Day Commemoration s yesterday
I feel greatly honoured and indeed humbled to address you at this commemoration of National Heroes’ Day. This occasion, as per our tradition, provides us with an opportunity to reflect, remember and pay special tribute to our fallen and living gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.
On this Heroes’ Day, we remember those who died for our freedom. We remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice which guaranteed our independence and sovereignty. We remember all those comrades, our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, who took the fate of this nation into their hands.
They were just like you and me, ordinary men and women, peasant farmers and workers, some were professionals of note, young and old from all our villages and towns, who put the love for their country and the collective national good ahead of everything else. Some of the heroes we are remembering today lie in various places in the country, others in unmarked graves and known graves alike, within and outside our borders.
We remember their great sacrifices for our freedom and independence. Their selfless dedication, self-sacrifice and heroic determination will forever be cherished in our memories for generations to come.
We treasure both our living and departed heroes and heroines, of the liberation struggle, whose tears, blood and sweat laid a solid foundation upon which both current and future generations of our people will build upon as we pursue the dream of a Zimbabwe we all want. It took a protracted struggle to reach where we are today. Some were executed, others jailed, detained without trial, and yet others were confined to restriction; all for the love of our beloved country Zimbabwe; yet remained consistent, persistent and resolute.
As I stand before you today, therefore, I see a nation of heroes, a nation of warriors, and a nation of peacemakers. I see a people who have stood up against the prophets of doom over and over again, always guarding our independence, freedom and sovereignty.
On 30th July 2018, you stood up and spoke loudly and clearly. You showed the world that not only could we all campaign in a spirit of peace and tolerance, with parties free to campaign whenever, wherever and however they saw fit, we equally, together, demonstrated that we could also hold free and fair elections. In the spirit of transparency, these were held in the full glare of international observers and global media.
It is now time to put the election period behind us and embrace the future. The task facing us today is a great one. Let us unite as Zimbabweans, revive our economy and rebuild our great nation; the land of our dreams, the land of immense possibilities. We should never be deterred by temporary setbacks or regrettable events which we encounter in our course to build an open, free and democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe. While this task is every bit as difficult as that which was faced by those heroes decades ago, it is, however, not insurmountable.
To safeguard the gains of our Independence, we have to be united in purpose, always patriotic, and should always call for peace, unity and tranquillity, as we seek to modernise and industrialise our economy in line with our national vision: to become a middle income economy with increased investment, decent jobs, broad-based empowerment, free from poverty and corruption, by 2030. It is our collective responsibility to achieve this vision by growing the economy together, creating employment for the majority of our populace, and improving the standard of living of all our people.
Furthermore, I urge us all to strive to build a Zimbabwe where everyone is accommodated, has a sense of belonging and feels safe and secure, irrespective of creed, tribe, race, religion or social standing. We are all Zimbabweans, united by our national flag and national anthem. Let us all take a leaf and draw inspiration from our departed and living heroes and heroines, who were united in purpose as they sought to liberate our nation from political bondage.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
We now have an opportunity to be heroes of the next national epoch, that of economic development and growth. Our nation is endowed with vast opportunities which cut across every sector. These opportunities are critical in fostering economic emancipation, human development, social security, poverty reduction and prosperity for all.
One of the core reasons for waging the liberation struggle was to reclaim the land and give it to its rightful owners. That indeed has been accomplished and the land reform is now behind us. The challenge before us, is to look ahead to the full utilisation of our land, through increased productivity, modernisation and mechanisation of our agriculture sector.
Equally, I further exhort us to exploit the rich mineral endowments in our country, some of which remain unexplored and unexploited. To this end, my Government will continue to facilitate the enhanced processing and value addition of our resources, as well as in widening the range of exploited mineral resources in order to stimulate and leapfrog our economic development.
I, thus, call for the new type of heroes and heroines in the agriculture sector and throughout the entire agro-processing value chain, taking advantage of the expanded Command Agriculture Programme.
My Government, will also continue to facilitate the increased productivity through distribution of farming inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme. In addition, we will continue to stimulate and promote investment along the agriculture value chain processes, thereby building a vibrant and sustainable industry base, capable of creating high incomes and decent jobs.
I equally encourage a similar desire for heroism in other spheres of the economy, in mining, tourism, manufacturing, science and technology as well as cultural heritage and creative arts.
In line with the devolution of power, where provinces will now be expected to plan and grow their provincial economies, I call upon all of us to champion economic activities within our respective communities throughout the country. They say, “Charity begins at home”, equally, economic productivity and development must begin within our communities. I, therefore, challenge us to fully exploit and utilise those resources endowments within our localities, this in order to improve household incomes, the quality of life of our societies and, cumulatively, the national economy as a whole.
At the national level, we will continue to scale up efforts to attract investments into our country and ensure that we become a prime investment destination for increased wealth creation and decent jobs.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
As we commemorate our heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, let us be alive to the new realities of today and break new frontiers through the creation of knowledge societies, promotion of inventions, creative innovations and entrepreneurship, which are responsive to our current and future national needs.
In this regard, I exhort all of us in all spheres to be cognisant of the socio-economic, scientific and technological realities that our nation faces in an ever-changing global environment. We should strive to develop solutions to challenges, whilst equally maximising today’s opportunities, in our quest to grow our economy.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
As we aspire to attain Vision 2030, let us consistently cherish the ideals that brought us to where we are today. In line with the spirit and letter of Section 23 of our Constitution, my Government will continue to accord due respect, honour and recognition to veterans of the liberation struggle. To this end, Government is developing liberation war sites into tourist sites where our history and that of the fallen heroes, will continuously be told for generations to come as well as to the world at large.
In addition, the Liberation War Heritage Programme, which re-develops and re-interprets various memorials in different parts of the country, will also endeavour to correct historical inaccuracies that are at times perpetuated through built monuments from the colonial era.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
As we commemorate this year’s Heroes’ Day, let us remain peaceful, united and rebuild our country together, always safeguarding our national security, independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty; which our living and departed heroes and heroines fought for. Let us never allow our differences to separate us, to cause animosity, or steer intolerance and violence amongst us. We are one people, one nation.
It is indeed time for us to close ranks and collectively push our national agenda and forge our country to new frontiers of economic development. Let us move forward with single mindedness, determination and unity of purpose. We all share the same dreams and same destiny. United we will stand strong and proud, but divided we will fall.
Meanwhile, I urge all political parties to remain peaceful and to always strive to do that which is in the public good, and that which is in the national interest. As I have said, the time for politics is behind us, now is the time for progress, action and delivery.
The journey will not be easy, hence I encourage all of us to be emboldened by the courage, selflessness and bravery of the numerous heroes we remember today. We are a bold and brave nation of warriors, a nation of heroes; let us therefore march forward in peace, harmony, unity and love.
Individually and collectively, we must be determined to build our new Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe we all want. Just as our forefathers came together to succeed in the quest for liberation and independence, let us come together to succeed now, for a better life for all.
Long live our heroes and heroines!
Long live Zimbabwe!
God bless you all
God bless Zimbabwe
I thank you.