via President on 21st February holiday | The Sunday Mail 28/02/2016
Cletus Mushanawani at Great Zimbabwe
GOVERNMENT is following due process on proposals that the 21st February Movement celebrations be made a public holiday, with the Justice Ministry expected to go through the necessary motions, President Mugabe has said.
President Mugabe was responding to calls by Zanu-PF’s Youth League to have a public holiday called 21st February Youth Day.
Addressing people who had come to celebrate President Mugabe’s 92nd birthday with him here yesterday, Youth League leader Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said: “Your Excellency, as our resolutions as the Youth League from all the four corners of the country, we all agreed and proposed to make the 21st February Movement Celebrations a public holiday, per your guidance, it be called 21st February Youth Day and the youth of Zimbabwe eagerly wait the promulgation of this into law.”
In response, President Mugabe said: “I want to emphasise on the point raised by the youth league on this day (21st Movement) to become a public holiday. It is just a matter of the party to accept it and then we take it to Parliament so that it can be made the day of the youth.
“We are there to help the youth develop intellectually and physically and this is the process we will work on together. The Ministry of Justice will be planning the best way to make this day a public holiday. We want to continue regarding this day the day for the youths. May they be 21st Movement Day in future, the day where youths emulate the qualities of a good leader.”
This year’s celebrations marks 30 years since the Zanu-PF Youth League organised the very first 21st February Movement celebrations and have been doing so successfully over the successive years.
“To us the youth of Zimbabwe, Your Excellency, you are an angel sent to Africa to liberate us from colonial rule and from domination by other races.
“You are indeed the Moses of Africa and thus we celebrate your birthday through the 21st Movement in order to encourage our youth to follow your footsteps and emulate your revolutionary values for a better and free Africa.
“Because of you Cde President, we feel totally free, very much in charge of our destiny. We are in control and we will never let go our freedom,” said Cde Togarepi.
He said they chose Great Zimbabwe as the venue for the celebrations because of the site’s significance to the country.
“As we are inside the Great Zimbabwe, Cde President every one of us must introspect, a serious soul searching. Individually let us ask ourselves this question today: ‘Are we loyal to the cause and founding principles of our revolution?
“We couldn’t get a better place than the royal fortified Great Zimbabwe to celebrate what you have given Zimbabwe and Africa in the past, today and posterity,” said Cde Togarepi.
Zanu-PF Masvingo youth chair, Cde Nobert Ndaarombe added: “For anybody to be able to celebrate their birthday in the grounds of this monument, one must be at least 92 years of age, be healthy, energetic, sprightly and ready to box imperialists and their local stooges with zest and zeal.
“One has to be a founding father of the Organisation of African Unity, now African Union. One should have participated in the struggle and spent at least 10 years in the Rhodesian detention camps and prisons.
“One must be a founding father of the Second Chimurenga/Umvukela, the revolutionary armed struggle that brought us freedom and independence after defeating the British racist settler regime led by Ian Douglas Smith.”
The youths vowed to advance President Mugabe’s legacy.
“Your name shall forever be remembered and celebrated by the people of Zimbabwe in particular and the whole of Africa in general. We assure you as the youth that we will pass your marvellous works and teachings from generation to generation,” said Cde Togarepi.
Cde Ndaarombe weighed in saying: “We vow to fight and stand for all the great ideas and principles that represent the model you have set.
“As your champions, we vow to start embracing all the opportunities you have given us. We have specific ways of life, conduct and tastes, forms of recreation, but we are influenced by political, ideological and socio-economic transformations.
‘‘In this regard, we call for your continued good health so that you may see through these transformations, enshrined in the unity of purpose.”