Corruption, underutilisation of land, holding of mining concessions for speculation and other unwanted ways of doing things are now gone and Zimbabweans need to work together in love, unity and accountability so as to honour our heroes and heroines, President Mnangagwa said yesterday in his Heroes Day address to the nation.
Marking the 40th anniversary of Heroes Day, the President said Zimbabweans have to draw inspiration from the country’s heroes and heroines from the First and Second Chimurenga so as to stand up against renewed onslaught by Zimbabwe’s detractors who want to derail the inevitable success of the Second Republic.
Apart from the machinations of the country’s detractors to cast aspersions on the Second Republic through a misinformation crusade, the country marked its 40th Heroes Day Anniversary under the dark shadow that has been cast by the novel Covid-19 pandemic, a global plague that has killed more than 100 people in the country and infected close to 5 000 more.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the President made a virtual National Heroes Day address at the State House and called upon the nation to be inspired by those who paid the supreme price to liberate Zimbabwe.
“The Second Republic has, since its inception, accelerated the entrenchment and consolidation of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law in pursuit of social justice and equal opportunities for the economic empowerment of the previously marginalised majority.
“Informed by a cardinal ethos during the liberation struggle, the Second Republic’s thrust in the fight against corruption is unwavering. My administration therefore makes no apologies for fixing our systems across the socio-economic and political spectrum. Accountability and transparency will keep on being enforced in every facet of our society. The door to the old manner of doing things is closed. The corrupt way is shut and those who choose that route will face dire consequences.
“Peace, unity, harmony and love are prerequisites for the achievement of our country’s prosperity and sustainable socio-economic development.
“We are forever grateful to our security service sector, which continues to protect our independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the President said.
The President said success is inevitable regardless of attempts to derail the country’s progress.
“The 40th Heroes Day Anniversary comes at a time when the Second Republic is accelerating our national development. This is in spite of the continued illegal sanctions imposed by some Western countries, coupled with the negative impact of climate change which has grossly affected our economic growth projections,” he said.
Land disposition and expropriation by the white settlers inspired the country’s heroes, including the President himself, to sacrifice their youth and in some cases lives in order to fight for the country’s independence which was gained after a bitter struggle in 1980.
The country then set the second Monday of every August as a day to remember its heroes both in the First and Second Chimurenga.
The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa has taken deliberate steps to immortalise the country’s heroes and heroines with a statue of Mbuya Nehanda being erected in Harare. More statues of the country’s heroes and heroines will be constructed across the country.
“Land was one of the major reasons the country’s gallant sons and daughters took up arms to fight for the liberation of our beloved country.
“The Second Republic, under my administration, continues to consolidate the gains of the revolution. We shall never betray the principles of the revolution. The blood of those who fought for our land shall forever be honoured through maximum use of our land.
“In this quest, my administration embarked on the first phase of the land audit which has now been completed. Under-utilised land identified through the audit will be allocated in line with Government policy.
“To further stimulate productivity, a multi-pronged agriculture recovery plan is being rolled out. This will result in increased productivity of maize, wheat, soya beans and traditional grains. Similarly, the implementation of the pfumvudza concept is progressing well and will see a transformation to food security at household level.
“Farmers are encouraged to honour the departed heroes by taking full advantage of the recapitalisation of the Command Agriculture programme, dam construction, irrigation development and mechanisation programmes which my administration is undertaking in partnership with the private sector. The setting of pre-planting producer prices as an incentive together with the growth plan must give impetus to our farmers to boost production and productivity,” he said.
The President said in honour of the country’s heroes and heroines the country should make maximum use of its minerals so as to become a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
“The land that our heroes fought for includes all that which is under that land. The Strategic Roadmap for the attainment of a US$12 billion Mining Sector by 2023 is on course. In line with this policy, the use it or lose it principle is being strictly enforced in order to unlock resources for enhanced production. The Mines and Minerals Act is being amended into a competitive, modern, investor friendly and supportive law which will benefit the majority of our people.
“Through robust modern and innovative synergies between the ministries of Energy and Mines, Zimbabwe is on track to emerge as a net exporter of energy by 2023. These are the emerging new realities that we are celebrating at this 40th Heroes Day Commemorations,” he said.
Since taking office, the Government of the Second Republic has embarked on a number of economic revival initiatives that include the Zimbabwe national industrialisation policy framework, which focuses on industrial resuscitation, establishment of new industries, export development, innovation and rural industry systems.
Such projects, that also include rehabilitation of road networks, are beginning to take shape with the President himself leading the way in ensuring that no one is left behind in national development matters.
“In line with our devolution policy, the Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy I launched last week will result in a broader geographical spread of tourism development, with benefits accruing to the whole nation. In addition, the devolution policy has begun to enhance the democratic participation of our communities in decision making.
“This is in turn promoting good governance, equalisation and development that leaves no one behind, in our bid to maintain a prosperous unitary Zimbabwe. This is the multi-faceted heritage bequeathed to us by the heroes and heroines we are remembering today,” he said.
Following an assault on the country’s economy by vigilante groups working with opposition parties and hostile foreign governments, the Government recently introduced macro-economic stabilisation measures that have seen prices of basics stabilising.
And to cushion vulnerable members of society from the impact of Covid-19 and successive droughts, the President said the Second Republic will continue offering social safety nets to assist distressed families.
“My Government continues to prioritise the security and welfare of vulnerable citizens through the Food Deficit Mitigation Programme. Other social protection measures have been scaled-up for persons living with disabilities and those left vulnerable as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The provision of decent housing, quality healthcare, water and sanitation remain important promises we must deliver in honour of our fallen heroes.
“In view of the upsurge of Covid-19 infections and deaths, we all need to be more vigilant in fighting this scourge. We must all adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines which include wearing masks, social distancing and practising good hygiene. Government will continue to scale up testing, contact tracing and isolating those who have tested positive,” he said.
Zimbabwe, groaning under the burden of illegal economic sanctions, is yet again the target of an unrestrained misinformation onslaught by the country’s detractors who are working with members of the opposition and G40 fugitives to besmirch the Second Republic.
However, the President said in the spirit of the country’s liberation struggle, Zimbabwe will continue reengaging and engaging all nations of the world as the Second Republic is determined to improve the lives of its citizens.