[Debate] Mugabe & Tsvangirai on Zimbabwe's Independence Day
critical.montages at gmail.com
Wed Apr 18 19:01:55 BST 2012
President Robert Mugabe's speech at the National Sports Stadium
delivered on April 18, 2012, to mark Zimbabwe's 32nd Independence
Honourable Vice President Joice Teurai Ropa Mujuru,
Honourable Vice President John Landa Nkomo,
Honourable Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Mai Mutambara,
Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Mai Muzenda,
Honourable President of the Senate, Mai Edna Madzongwe,
Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Lovemore Moyo,
Honourable Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
His Worship the Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda,
Families of heroes of the Zimbabwe Liberation struggle,
Representatives of different political parties present,
Your Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Performing Artists joining us on this Day,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends
I welcome all those of you who are here today and the many other
thousands following today’s events through other sources of
information dissemination, with the great sense of national pride with
which we celebrate this occasion. As we are aware, Independence Day is
one of the special, indelible days in our history as a country, a day
that cannot lose its value nor its importance, for it stands
unchanging as a signal of our victory over imperialism , colonialism
and racial subjugation. Because of this historic day, first celebrated
in April 1980, our people cannot be regarded, much less, treated, as
second –class citizens, in their land anymore.
Gradually over the years, in different, phased programmes, and as a
united people, we have transformed that political independence which
came on the 18th of April 1980 and raised it onto the next step of
economically empowering our people. We are not dreamers anymore –we
are now masters of our destiny. My gratitude and that of the leaders
here, goes to the people of Zimbabwe, who have refused to be divided
by the same enemy they encountered yesterday who, today, like the
cunning wolf, comes in sheep’s clothing.
We can never forget the difficulties and the barbarous treatment that
marked the road to the freedom we enjoy today. It was long, bloody
arduous and protracted. It thus took commitment , focus and great
sacrifices for our people to effect the complete liberation of this
country which Ian Smith had, in his small mind, thought could never be
ruled by blacks – certainly, not in a thousand years as he had
proclaimed . oh, yes, our sons and daughters backed by their mothers
and fathers, scarred physically and emotionally, fought valiantly to
dislodge the strongly fortified and arrogant racist settler regime.
All of us in this country, whatever our ethnic and cultural
backgrounds are proud inheritors of that legacy of total sovereign
independence, with all its freedoms and ownership of natural
I say, congratulations, to you all on the attainment of this 32nd
Anniversary of our Independence.
But sovereign independence also imposes on us certain obligations and
responsibilities as leaders and as ordinary citizens. Thus the
security and welfare of every citizen needs to be guaranteed at every
stage of our development. Every one of us has the right to life. In
this regard, government must fight hunger. Government is aware that
while the early rains initially raised the prospects of a good
harvest, many parts of the country subsequently succumbed to a
devastating dry spell. Provinces such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South
and North, parts of Manicaland and Mashonaland East will require some
food assistance. Government has accordingly decided that the Grain
Loan Scheme and the Free Assistance Programme will be extended until
next season in order to assist those of our people in food insecure
As a precautionary measure, government has set aside funding for food
shortage mitigation programmes in the affected areas. Government also
continues to enhance social safety net programmes targeting children,
particularly orphaned and vulnerable, children.
The initiative to create a peaceful environment has recorded some
success and those leading the process should be commended for a job
well done. Peace is an inevitable pre-requisite for sustainable
development in the country. To this extent, all political party
leaders should encourage their supporters to promote the spirit of
peace, tranquillity and harmony through social dialogue.
Finalization of the Constitution-making Process needs to be hastened.
The Principals sin the Global Political Agreement will be examining
the Draft Constitution so it can soon be put before the people in a
Referendum marking the beginning of a definite process towards general
elections this year.
Efforts to create the necessary environment for rapid and sustainable
economic growth have been thwarted by the continued illegal sanctions
imposed by Britain, the United States of America, the European Union
and other Western nations. This has in turn frustrated the steady
economic recovery efforts through impediments to Zimbabwe’s access to
world commodity markets and critical conscessionary funding facilities
which are important for rehabilitating infrastructure, industry and
the importation of essential industrial raw materials and spare parts.
It is in this context that we call upon those responsible for imposing
these sanctions to urgently remove them unconditionally. On this very
important matter, we sho9uld speak with one voice as a nation.
Notwithstanding the challenges we have endured, I am happy that the
economy has continued to register positive economic performance. Last
year, growth was estimated at 9,3 percent underpinned mainly by
agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and financial services.
Production of major commodities in agriculture, which included
tobacco, cotton, livestock and Soya beans, recorded a significant
In manufacturing, capacity utilisation levels which averaged 38
percent in 2010 peaked at around 54 percent last year. This
development resulted in the further availability of locally produced
goods on the domestic market. To further stimulate industrial growth
and development, government simultaneously launched the Industrial
Development Policy (2012-2016) and the National Trade Policy
(2012-2016) last month. The Industrial Development Policy will provide
new impetus for industrialisation and sustainable industrial
development by promoting value addition for both domestic and export
markets and align the country with global trends. The National Trade
Policy is expected to provide the framework for all trade negotiations
and agreements for the country at bilateral, regional and multilateral
Mining continues to be on an upward trend, as reflected by increases
in the production of gold, platinum, diamonds and coal. We need more
facilities for the local processing of our mineral output in order to
maximise on value and to provide employment for our people.
As a major sign of confidence in our tourism industry, Zimbabwe and
Zambia won the bid to co-host the 20th Session of the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation General Assembly in Victoria Falls next
year. Preparations to host this very important occasion are at an
advanced stage. I would like to urge the nation to support the
initiative as it carries immense benefits through new investments,
employment creation and income generation. This year, Zimbabwe will
conduct its fourth Census, from the 18th to the 28th of August 2012.
The main aim of the Census is to provide demographic and
socio-economic data required in the formulation, monitoring and
evaluation of development plans and programmes. I wish to call upon
every Zimbabwean to fully support this process and ensure that we have
a successful 2012 National Population Census.
The recent launch of the Presidential –eLearning Programmes at
Chogugudza Primary School in Mashonaland East Province is clear
testimony to Government’s commitment to providing quality education to
our children. Throughout 2012 and beyond, Government will intensify
the introduction of the Programme at our schools, tertiary
institutions and universities.
The implementation of the indigenisation and empowerment policy
continues to gather momentum through the implementation of various
programmes such as the community Share Ownership Schemes which ensure
that communities benefit from the resources found in their areas. Such
Schemes have been established at Zimplats, to cater for
Zvimba-Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu, the Unki and Mimosa Schemes in Shurugwi
and Zvishavane and the Schweppes Employee Scheme. The Small and
mediu7m Enterprises sector (SMEs) will continue to receive Government
attention for the potential it has towards poverty eradication and the
empowerment of communities.
Government takes the welfare of its employees seriously and is
committed to improving their conditions of service in tandem with
improvements in the economy. To this end, the Civil Service Housing
Loan Facility has been re –introduced and will help civil servants to
acquire houses and stands on a home ownership basis.
In the health sector, the number of people on anti-retroviral
treatment for HIV/Aids increased to 410 000 last October . malaria
control programmes now cover 89 percent in 45 target districts while
immunisation of children exceeded 85 percent. Loss of critical health
staff such as doctors and specialist nurses to the private sector is
adversely affecting health delivery.
To meet the growing demand for higher education, preparations have
begun for the establishment of the Marondera University of Agriculture
Science in Mashonaland East; Manicaland University of Applied Sciences
and the Gwanda State University in Matabeleland South. In this way, we
would have brought on board the three remaining provinces that were
still to have a State university each.
Zimbabwe’s foreign policy objective is anchored on safeguarding the
country’s hard-won Independence, sovereignty and territorial
integrity. In pursuit of these core values, Zimbabwe continues to
strengthen and further deepen its relations with various countries in
the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa, the African Union, Asia and Latin America
through the framework of strategic bilateral Joint Commissions and
regional cooperation meetings. The Look East policy is an important
consideration on our agenda as it continues to bear fruit both
politically and economically.
On the international front, Zimbabwe is concerned that some Western
countries continue to abuse the United Nations Security Council and
regional oganisations in pursuit of subtle and dirty regime change
agendas under the guise of supporting democracy, rule of law and human
In this context, Zimbabwe will continue to call for the urgent reform
of the United Nations Security Council to make it more representative
of the majority of Member States.
The commitment of our defence and security forces to maintaining peace
and security in Zimbabwe and beyond is always applauded. I wish to
encourage them to carry on the good work in various local, regional
and international peace-keeping United Nations and African Union
Now, as we look forward to the coming years, I would like to avail
myself of this opportunity to wish our dear nation a happy 32nd
Independence Day Anniversary!
I thank you
Morgan Tsvangirai's statement on Independence Day
by Morgan Richard Tsvangirai
2012 April 17 15:36:27 | 1211 Views
Tomorrow will be an important day for us all as we celebrate our
country's Independence Day. It is a day that encapsulates Zimbabwe's
painful story. As a people, our independence was not a stroll in the
park. We had to wage a brutal and protracted liberation struggle to
end colonialism. Brave sons and daughters of this land perished in
Indeed, they died so that the national aspiration for dignity and
freedom could live again. Yet others were maimed and lost limb so that
the whims of future generations could walk again. The bones of the
patriotic children of this land are strewn throughout the forests and
bushes of Southern Africa.
In Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Tanzania, the sons and daughters
of this country lie in shallow graves; their blood selflessly shed to
irrigate the national aspiration for true freedom and national
happiness. On 18 April 1980, we terminated the brutal era of
colonialism and hoisted our new Zimbabwe flag with pride and honour.
We occupied government offices and claimed new political space.
Many people gave the new leadership the benefit of the doubt. We all
expected our leaders to return our dignity by crafting policies that
benefit the ordinary citizen and poise the country for economic growth
and development. Contrary to expectations, the new leadership did not
take long to betray the very values central to the liberation
struggle. Repression, violence and looting became the order of the
Outraged by this combination of impunity and bad governance, the
people of Zimbabwe demanded and thrust us to lead a new struggle to
complete the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.
Independence alone is not enough. Independence must be accompanied by
respect for people's basic freedoms. It must come with jobs and
Independence means a new leadership with a new set of values that are
in the interest of the people. It must come with the enactment of laws
that show a new culture, a new ethos and a new thrust to respect the
dignity and the freedoms of the individual.
Today, even in the wake of an inclusive government, policy and
ideological discord at the instigation of some elements in this
government have meant a further betrayal of the people's aspirations.
We have disagreed in this government because there are others who want
to perpetuate the old culture of expropriation, looting and
self-aggrandizement clad in new and misleading nomenclature such as
It is such wild political jingoism that stands in the way of
investment promotion and job creation for the people. It is
regrettable that Independence Day has been monopolized and
personalised by one political party. This is a national day that is
greater than Zanu PF, the MDC, Mavambo or any other political
formation. Independence day is a day greater than Morgan Tsvangirai ,
Robert Mugabe, Welshman Ncube, Arthur Mutambara or Simba Makoni.
Our personal caprices and the political parties we lead must
subordinate themselves to the iridescent nature and character of this
day. To adorn Independence Day in a Zanu PF robe is to rob it of its
national character and its universal appeal to the diverse people of
Zimbabwe who are all too aware of its mammoth significance to the
story of this land.
I wish to state that we had a discussion in Cabinet last week about
the proposed theme for this year, which is Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment for Economic Transformation. We rejected it because we
find this a repugnant theme which sounds more of a slogan for a
political party than an inclusive, peace-building theme which should
be determined through consensus.
There was no consensus on the current theme . While we support
broad-based empowerment of the ordinary person, our colleagues have
taken indigenisation to mean expropriation and nationalization. There
is no such policy of Government. Our problem is not about the day, but
the theme of this day.
A more unifying theme which captures the national sentiment at this
time would have been more appropriate. As Principals, we led the
national call for peace in November last year and it would have been
ideal to have a theme that revolves around this key issue ahead of the
But despite the provocation around the theme, we will be attending
tomorrow's event because we believe it is a national day that is
greater than political parties. We will attend because we will not
allow Zanu PF to privatize this day.
While we reject the theme, we refuse to be chucked out of a national
day which has nothing to do with Zanu PF but has everything to do with
the collective history of all Zimbabweans in their diversity. So we
will be there to pay tribute to the gallant sons and daughters of
Zimbabwe who sacrificed everything to free this country. The only way
to placate the spirit of the departed cadres of Zimbabwe's liberation
struggle is to respect the dignity and freedoms of the ordinary
We can only truly stand on the shoulders of heroes by building a
peaceful country where government respects the people's freedoms.
Joshua Nkomo will smile in his grave if we build a new Zimbabwe where
all people live in peace and harmony despite their tribal, racial,
religious and political differences.
Hebert Chitepo and Leopold Takawira will truly say they fought a good
fight when we begin to create jobs for the millions of unemployed
Zimbabweans; when we stop repression and violence against each other.
Yes, Josiah Tongogara, Sheba Tavarwisa, Solomon Mujuru will only be
proud of us if we bring back the noise in our silent factories,
promote investment and set this country on a new path to economic
growth and development.
This is what the true revolutionary sons and daughters of this land
died for. This is what they wanted. Once we execute their dreams,
Independence will begin to have a new meaning, touching our very lives
and setting the tone for a bright future for our children.
As we brace for the next election, there must be peace in the land. We
should all stand united against violence. The youths of Zimbabwe must
refuse to manipulated and bribed for political gain. There must be
security of the person, security of the vote and security of the
people's will. This is the true freedom that our liberators fought
As we celebrate Independence Day, I urge all of you to remain united,
to promote peace and above all, to share a thought for the thousands
who perished to liberate this country. Some of them are still alive
but struggling to barely survive and to send their children to school.
This is an indictment on this inclusive government.
In the villages, we are all aware of the role played by our mothers,
our sisters and our brothers towards meeting this national dream of
charting a future for ourselves.
Today, we remember them. We salute them.
The collective story of this country is painful. Zimbabweans must be
stand firm in defending the legacy of our protracted struggle by
calling on us as leaders to be democratic, transparent and
Above all, we must respect and protect the people's freedoms of
choice, association, speech and movement. Only then will this day
reclaim its true meaning.
Happy Independence Day!
God Bless You!
And God Bless Zimbabwe!
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and President of the MDC
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