The ruling Zanu-PF has called upon Zimbabweans to rededicate themselves to nation-building through peace and plural unity as the country celebrates its 39th Independence tomorrow.
In a statement yesterday, Zanu-PF spokesperson Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo said Independence Day was a national day which must be celebrated with purpose as it gives Zimbabweans an opportunity to stock-take and engage in conversation.
“Since April 18, 1980, each year, Zimbabwe celebrates its birthday with national pride and unity of purpose. It is a day attained through supreme sacrifice by thousands of sons and daughters of this great land after a long and protracted armed liberation struggle against colonialism and settlerism,” he said.
“It was a struggle, which took various formations since its inception in the 1890s, by our forebears, meandered through organised boycotts, demonstrations, use of petrol bombs, arson, culminating in the use of arms of war.
“Thousands were murdered, hundreds maimed, property destroyed and livestock looted. Having nationalist movements like the African National Congress (ANC), National Democratic Party (NDP), ZAPU and Zanu successively banned, the latter two decided to engage in full scale liberation war through their military wings ZIPRA and ZANLA respectively, initially based in frontline states like Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and Angola.”
In 1976, he said, the two principal liberation movements (ZAPU and ZANU) formed the Patriotic Front as a negotiating forum for talks with the British at Geneva, Malta and Lancaster House talks.
This facilitated the formation of a unity Government by the two parties at Independence progressively leading to one party, Zanu-PF under the Unity Accord of December 22, 1987.
Cde Khaya Moyo said with such background of the liberation struggle, it is paramount to reflect on the significance of the nation’s birthday.
“This is a national day and not partisan by any definition. It is a day for all the people of Zimbabwe to celebrate as one family. It is historic in all manner. For the record, this year’s independence celebration is the first after the harmonised elections held on July 30, 2018 which election was resoundingly won by the revolutionary Zanu-PF party.”
“An election considered by local and international observers as the most peaceful, free, fair and credible. The Zanu-PF manifesto appealed and was accepted in both content and vision by the electorate. The new dispensation worked magic and hope for the future was rekindled,” he said.
Ambassador Khaya Moyo said even in the calamity of Tropical Cyclone Idai, the spirit of unity and compassion amongst Zimbabweans and the solidarity extended by the international community in relief efforts was astounding.
He said Zimbabweans should remain united and respect the irreversibility of the hard won independence.
“One writer said, ‘History never says bye!’ Our independence will never say farewell, it is permanent. Hayiperi! Ayipile! His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa has called for servant leadership at all levels. Let the mantra ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ be seen in action for the prosperity of us all and generations to come.”