Sifelani Tsiko Senior Writer
Thousands of Zimbabweans will today throng various venues across the country to commemorate Heroes’ Day to pay tribute to the country’s gallant sons and daughters who sacrificed their lives to liberate the country from the shackles of white settler colonialism.
This year’s commemorations are quite uplifting in many ways as the nation is buoyed by President-elect Mnangagwa’s victory which is set consolidate the political space which has been enjoyed and continues to be enjoyed by all Zimbabweans despite their political differences.
Elections have come and gone. And, President-elect Mnangagwa’s message of peace, justice, non-violence and nation building resonates well with the liberation ethos that our heroes fought for.
This year’s Heroes Day celebrations offer an unprecedented opportunity for Zimbabweans to reflect on the political space and freedoms that have been ushered in by President-elect Mnangagwa breaking away from decades of violent, predatory and restrictive political space under former president Robert Mugabe’s rule.
This will be the first Heroes Day celebration without Mugabe, who bowed out under pressure in November 2017, paving way for President-elect Mnangagwa to assume the reigns.
President-elect Mnangagwa has consistently pledged to reform the economy and put the country on a firm recovery path. In the just-ended polls, he succeeded in breaking away with a past riddled with violent elections.
The opposition managed to hold rallies in rural areas where support for zanu-pf is high without any incidents of violence. They were not in any way barred from penetrating the rural areas.
When the galaxy of Zimbabwean heroes took up arms, they did this to uphold the freedom of blacks in this country. They wanted a nation that would be founded on the proposition that “all men are created equal” and should enjoy equal rights and equal opportunities. They resisted and deplored all forms of injustice, violence, human inequalities and oppression.
We should continue to recognise and honour all freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of this country.
They risked their lives not for a particular liberation movement, but for all Zimbabweans.
No matter the political differences we have, we must all as Zimbabweans cherish the values and sacrifice of our heroes.
We must refuse to be divided by narrow interests, but strive by every means available to reconcile our differences and move forward as one nation.
Our heroes fought for justice, equality and to improve the quality of life of the majority of the black race.
And, as we mark Heroes Day, we should remain optimistic that the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra and thrust will spur job creation and instil some hope in thousands of jobless people in the country.
Ever since President-elect Mnangagwa assumed office, he has emphasised the need to attract foreign investment to create jobs and boost national economic growth.
Improved human conditions and social justice was something that our heroes wanted to see in this country.
And as Zimbabweans we should not hesitate to support President-elect Mnangagwa, who is spearheading all efforts to reform the economy.
His Government has since adopted a battery of measures to tweak archaic rules and operations that deter investment and job creation.
Furthermore, he has said he remained open to new ideas and views that could be actionable to boost job creation, investment and economic growth.
Through President-elect Mnangagwa’s leadership, the country has scored major successes in the past four months, attracting investment commitments worth more than $20 billion.
All this, is largely due to the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra and culture that he is spearheading through a spirit of openness, honesty and hard work.
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The thrust of his administration to press for transparency and accountability, marks complete departure from the previous administration which was riddled with bureaucratic inefficiencies, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability — something which scared potential investors.
Confidence has enveloped the business sector and charmed the international community to embrace Zimbabwe.
Scores of foreign investors are now trekking to the country to scout for business opportunities and expand their business interests — a move which is likely to create jobs and instil hope among the jobless people.
All these efforts resonate very well with the sacrifices that were made by gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe in the struggle for independence.
Heroes Day celebrations are an important part of us and all remind us to appreciate the history of our country.
When we tour heroes shrines dotted inside and outside our country, it is important for us to walk with our history and to link the liberation struggle values with our present and future aspirations as a nation.
We should also embrace President Mnangagwa’s rallying call for unity, peace and nation building. It connects to the messages that were well articulated by our heroes — veteran nationalists Joshua Nkomo, John Land Nkomo, Simon Muzenda and numerous others.
Post-election violence may have marred the recent plebiscite, but peace, unity and oneness remains a key ingredient for national development and progress.
His recent Tweet sums it all.
“Thank you Zimbabwe!
I am humbled to be elected President of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe. Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!”