Pitched primarily on economic transformation, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s maiden Independence Day address last week struck the right chords.
His declaration that “Zimbabwe will rise again” speaks volumes about his agenda.
As the President noted, 38 years of Independence had not been without challenges, and mistakes were made while opportunities were missed.
But this year’s celebrations, he said, were pregnant with hope for better days.
Positivity had become a scarce commodity among Zimbabweans. Past failures had made many among us nabobs of negativity who had put the handbrake on the vehicle of hope.
This national malady manifested in many ways, not least emotional damage coupling economic woes.
The result was that we became blind to the plethora of opportunities around us and the great potential Zimbabwe possesses.
President Mnangagwa thus said: “As we commemorate and celebrate the birth of our nation, let us believe that our tomorrow is greater. Let us boldly and proudly sing our national anthem, and fly our flag high in renewed hope and unity.
“Let us think big of our country, for the Bible says, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so he is’.
“Let us also speak and confess well and the very best over our country, for the Bible again says, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it, shall eat the fruit thereof’. Nothing is impossible. Zimbabwe shall rise again.”
He seemed to echo Kwame Nkrumah at Ghana’s independence celebrations in 1957.
Nkrumah said, “From now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. We have awakened, we will not sleep anymore.”
Zimbabwe is experiencing regeneration and a renewed sense of optimism.
As noted by the President: “Five months ago, the people of Zimbabwe took to the streets in a peaceful revolution. They called for freedom, progress and a new way of doing things. Like the heroes before them, they called for a new Zimbabwe. We heard their voices, we shared their vision and we are committed to delivering it.”
It was also significant that President Mnangagwa’s speech was all-inclusive.
“Together, we are embarking on a new journey of nation-building, irrespective of creed, language, age, religion, or political persuasion,” he assured.
“In unity, peace, and harmony, guided by the love of our country, and informed by a desire to build a better tomorrow, we are rekindling the pride in being Zimbabwean.
“We have raised our national flag high. Our national anthem reverberates in every corner of our great country, a constant reminder of our identity, and a prayer to God Almighty to abundantly, ‘Bless our native land!’
“I call on all Zimbabweans, at home and abroad, to proudly celebrate the past, and boldly stride forward, arm-in-arm, towards a brighter future.”
Commenting to journalists after the speech, MDC-T leader Mr Nelson Chamisa commended President Mnangagwa.
“National days should be unifying and not partisan. They are supposed to be days of togetherness because no individual or political party is bigger than these national days, which is why we applaud President Mnangagwa’s speech.
“President Mnangagwa’s speech was to a large extent inclusive because it reckoned the diversity of political parties.”
As Zimbabweans reflect on Operation Restore Legacy, we must take heed of the President’s message that “once again, we are free to dream, hope, and to believe”.
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