Tomorrow, Zimbabwe will mark yet another milestone, the 41st Independence Anniversary, and what a journey it has been since April 18, 1980.
Zimbabwe became an independent State after a liberation war that removed the racist Rhodesian government, which had made blacks second class citizens in their motherland.
Now, the country is free, the people are free, to determine the course of their destiny as a sovereign country both politically and economically.
It is a moment we shall forever cherish and celebrate.
Indeed, looking into the past 41 years, it has been a journey littered with hills and valleys along the way, and of course, freedoms that have earned us respect globally, for we are a proud nation with a rich history, however young we might be.
Yes, we have been free for the past 41 years, but we must never forget that the freedom we enjoy today came at a cost.
Lives were lost as sons and daughters of this country made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate the country from minority rule.
That should always be the compass to guide the people of Zimbabwe, especially the young who fickle in a world where some cultures seek to dominate and obliterate the history of other nations.
There is always the danger that with time, the distance between us and the past widens, but in the case of April 18, that should never be allowed to happen as we owe what we are today to the sacrifices that were made decades ago by our heroes interred in different parts of the country.
As we celebrate the 41st Independence Day, this is a crucial milestone that offers us an opportunity to reflect on the journey so far, what we have achieved as a country; what we have missed, and the corrections that must be made as we journey in peace and unity towards becoming an upper middle-class economy by 2030.
Indeed, the past offers us vast knowledge, inspiration, and courage as a nation to gird our loins and pull in the same direction as we seek, under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa, to eradicate poverty and ensure that every part of the country is developed and that former colonial backwaters are transformed into centres of growth and development.
Independence means self-determination and not only politically, but also economically, and this has seen the Second Republic investing in marginalised communities such as Chiredzi, as we tap into our abundant natural resources to empower the masses through inclusion in the economy.
Independence Day is the day that gives Zimbabwe the wings to fly, this is the day that defines us and indeed this is the day that refined us as one people with common objectives, putting Zimbabwe first always.
Under the bane of sanctions that were imposed on the country by some western countries as punishment for the land reform programme, Zimbabweans have never surrendered or lost hope.
The birth of the Second Republic in 2017 sought to rescue the country’s liberation legacy, hence the name Operation Restore Legacy, and while we cannot enumerate in this constrained space, we have many achievements since 1980 such as the building of new schools, hospitals and the land reform programme.
The past three years under the leadership of President Mnangagwa have witnessed unprecedented economic growth, with the economy expected to grow by 7 percent this year, never mind the constraints imposed by Covid-19.
Again, never mind the natural disasters such as Cyclone Idai, our nation is on an upward trajectory, financing its projects that are being undertaken by Zimbabwean sons and daughters.
In every part of the country, roads are being rehabilitated, bridges are being built and dams are under construction.
There is no dependency syndrome under the Second Republic, but we are eating what we kill, we are our masters and indeed have the resolve to author a new world order where developing countries don’t just look up to foreign aid for development, but can do using own resources.
The country is leading the fight against Covid-19 in the region, deaths have been kept very low, with mortality lower than in other countries that have received financial support from international lenders such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
We are going to have a bumper harvest this year and this means food security.
Our agriculture has been climate-proofed through the construction of dams around the country. Indeed, we are now eating what we kill.
Projections in the crucial mining sector indicate that the country is primed to surpass its target of a US$12 billion economy by 2023 with increased capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector set to drive economic growth towards Vision 2030.
Today, Zimbabwe is a friend to all and foe to none, as we forge ahead with the re-engagement and engagement drive with countries that were once hostile to us, and also broaden relations with strategic cooperation partners, thanks to the Second Republic’s clear agenda.
The Israelites spend more than 40 years in the wilderness en-route to the Promised Land, and Zimbabweans are indeed now 41 after independence in 1980 in the Promised Land where inflation has been tamed, the price stabilised and jobs are being created.