The Sunday Mail
Online News Editor
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged the nation to remain focused, resolute and united as the nation forges towards a better and brighter Zimbabwe.
Addressing thousands of Zimbabweans gathered at the National Heroes Acre, Monday, for this year’s Heroes Day commemorations, the President thanked the nation for being resilient as “the national economic prosperity and progress we seek requires dedicated effort, hard work and unflinching loyalty and patriotism”.
His speech, whose theme was heavy on peace and unity, said the defence of the peace and stability we enjoy today is paramount and must be undertaken with valour and vigilance.
“These heroes and heroines at this shrine and others at marked and unmarked graves, gave their lives to uphold this peace, unity, freedom, justice and independence. Let us honour them by dedicating ourselves to peace.
“For this reason, violence must continue to be shunned and rejected. Instead dialogue and constructive engagement must be promoted as the centre-piece of national development.”
He further urged the nation to remain united as “violence, discord, disunity, hatred, divisions, discrimination, tribalism, regionalism and corruption must be rejected as having no place in the new Zimbabwe.
“Mutual respect, love, equality, peace, commitment, loyalty, co-operation and harmony must now be the order of the day. These are values engraved in our nationhood and, indeed, are an indispensable trait in our DNA.”
To this end, the President said Zimbabweans should continue to protect our independence, freedom, justice and democracy which the departed heroes and heroines fought for, by accelerating efforts to consolidate constitutionalism, the rule of law as well as strengthening institutions that support democracy.
“I wish to appeal to you all, including those in the Diaspora, to draw inspiration from the heroes and heroines, by building bridges of unity, peace, freedom, patriotism and economic prosperity. God gave us only one Zimbabwe and it is our duty and responsibility to build and prosper our country through both our words and deeds.
“The Zimbabwe our heroes fought for and the one we want to see, is without doubt, one that is peaceful, united, prosperous, co-existing in harmony with its neighbours and all of the peace-loving people of the world.”
Turning to economic front, the President said the efforts to turn around the economy will remain underpinned by a spirited campaign to eradicate the pervasive vice of corruption.
“As I have repeatedly stated, this campaign (against corruption) will be waged relentlessly and without fear or favour. It is commendable that the newly reconstituted Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has embarked on its assignment with promising clarity and focus.
“The austerity measures we have undertaken are certainly necessary to guarantee sustainable development and prosperity for our country. To desire quick-fix manoeuvres neglecting fundamentals, will be grossly dishonest and a betrayal to the future prospect of our children.
“I, thus, wish to thank all our people for their resilience and to further urge them to bear with us as we complete this crucial phase of our policy reforms.”
He said the Government is aware of the hardships that people, especially the rural folk, are going through to do daily transactions due to cash shortages and the Government will, in the near future, “deal decisively” with these challenges.
The Government, as part of efforts to put in place safety nets to protect vulnerable members of society, will continue to make affordable transport services available. He said Zupco buses will continue to be rolled out for both rural and urban areas.
“I am pleased to highlight the commendable progress that the banking sector has achieved on the interbank foreign exchange market. To date, the interbank trades average around US$5million per day. We expect this to continue to increase on account of further liberalisation put in place by the Reserve Bank on the operations of bureau de change outlets.”
On re-engagement and investment, the President said the two-pronged drives are bearing notable results and that the investment drive will get further impetus upon the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency.
“The tourism sector is experiencing steady growth. We shall continue to implement robust and responsive infrastructure development programmes, with regards to transport, energy, water and sanitation infrastructure as well as housing construction. Road construction projects, across the country are steadily progressing.”
On the health front, the President thanked the United Arab Emirates and India for helping in the reforms in the health sector, which has seen the re-equipping of central hospitals.
The President said since Zimbabwe is a unitary state, the on-going devolution programme will be accelerated and urged all citizens, from the ward level up to the province, to take full advantage of this new policy thrust and promote locally-driven development programmes, to empower and improve the quality of life of citizens, especially those at the grassroots level.