President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is presiding over the Zimbabwe @ 42 celebrations in Bulawayo has lit the Independence Flame.
This year’s main celebrations first to be held in Bulawayo are running under the theme, “Zimbabwe At 42, Leaving No One and No Place Behind.”
Apparently, the celebrations come at the time the country is struggling politically and economically amid alleged human rights abuse and rampant corruption.
Meanwhile, in his message making the day, Citizens Coalition for Change president Nelson Chamisa implored Zimbabweans to remain united despite political differences.
“BIRTHDAY..Political differences we have but we’re One People & One Nation.
“This day belongs to us all as Citizens.
“Even when change happens, the day remains special. Liberation means happiness, freedom & basic services. The liberation promise is our new task!”
Below President Mnangagwa’s full speech:
42nd INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, HIS EXCELLENCY,
CDE. E. D. MNANGAGWA
18th APRIL, 2022
Director of Ceremonies, and Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Hon. K. Kazembe;
The First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa;
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Hon. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr. C. G. D. N. Chiwenga;
Vice President and Second Secretary of ZANU PF, Col. (Rtd.) Cde K. C. D. Mohadi;
Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, and Chairman of ZANU PF, Hon. O. C. Z. Muchinguri-Kashiri;
Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Hon. J. Ncube;
Members of the Politburo and Central Committee of the Ruling Party;
Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Advocate J. F. Mudenda;
President of the Senate, Hon. Amai M. M. Chinomona;
The Chief Justice, Hon. L. Malaba;
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr. M. J. M. Sibanda;
Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Dr. V. Hungwe;
His Worship the Mayor of Bulawayo, Councillor S. Mguni;
Izinduna Zethu; Madzimambo edu, our Traditional Leaders;
Leaders of Other Political Parties;
Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Veterans of the Liberation Struggle;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Comrades and Friends.
Fellow Countrymen and Women;
I am delighted to address you all as we celebrate the Forty Second Anniversary of our country’s Independence under the theme “Zimbabwe at 42: Leaving no one and no place behind.” This year’s celebrations are historic and extraordinary in that they are the first in which the main commemorations are being held outside the capital City of Harare. As per the promise of the Second Republic, the days of Harare being “bambazonke” are now behind us. We are strengthening our unity, enhancing national cohesion and entrenching peace within our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone.
These celebrations carry an added significance in that it is the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are able to gather together at this scale. Today is also Easter Monday; we thank Almighty God for the restoration, preservation and protection of our great country.
May the passing of the Independence Flame today, through Makokoba Township, serve as a remembrance and an honour to these suburbs as the belly that incubated political activism and ultimately, our freedom and independence. We equally pay homage to the many trade unionists and nationalists who launched their confrontation with the brutal white settler regime, from bases within other townships such as Pelandaba, Mzilikazi, Luveve, Mbare, Highfields, Sakubva, Mtapa and Mucheke. The nation is emboldened by their bravery and selfless sacrifices, and we promise never to forget the rich liberation heritage they left for us.
As a diverse but one nation that is united under one National Flag; we reaffirm and reinforce our unity, love and harmony for one another and for our great country. We refuse to be divided. The cords that bind us are much stronger than any differences which we may ever encounter.
In unity, Zimbabwe is rising; no one and no place shall be left behind as we march forward towards our Vision of a prosperous and empowered upper middle income country by 2030.
In the midst of great adversity and difficulties such as the illegal economic sanctions, our country has a lot to be proud of, which was realised over the past 42 years. Equally, invaluable lessons have been learnt which will make our actions more targeted for coordinated and balanced development.
Production, productivity, hard honest work, innovation, and an entrepreneurial culture are the cornerstones of all our individual and collective national effort. Hence, realistic and responsive approaches will continue to mould the implementation of our policies, projects and programmes, informed by the development mantra that, “ ilizwe liyakwa ngabanikazi, Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”.
To this end, the Second Republic is unwavering in its commitment to create opportunities in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure, healthcare, education, sciences and Information Communication Technologies, among other sectors.
This is what was fought for by the many heroes and heroines of our great country. As Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad, you have a sacred obligation and responsibility to find your niche and help build our motherland, riding on the abundant business and investment prospects in our economy.
In 2021, the economy grew by 7.4%, while in 2022 it is projected to grow by 5.5%, leveraging on the peaceful environment, increased production and productivity; infrastructural development, a buoyant mining sector as well as a recovering tourism and hospitality industry.
The agricultural sector has had mixed fortunes due to the impact of mid-season drought and recurrent tropical cyclones in some provinces. However, our hopes for an adequate harvest remain high. Overall, the large scale adoption of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme by our people throughout the country has had far reaching positive impacts to both household and national food security. Government has made adequate provisions to cater for the grain requirements of vulnerable households and communities.
Due to the dire impact of climate change, climate mitigation and adaption remain key. In this respect, I want to commend communities in climatic regions 4 and 5 for increasing the production of traditional grains.
To guarantee the consistent availability of wheat, a comprehensive plan is in place for the forthcoming winter wheat cropping season.
The long awaited Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which was first conceptualised in 1912 and only constructed under the Second Republic, will be completed during the course of the year. The Dam will conclusively resolve the perennial water challenges of the City of Bulawayo as well as result in a vibrant agriculture sector in Matabeleland North to meet the needs of the province and vault export-led productivity, leveraging on Victoria Falls and Hwange Airports.
The construction of Kunzvi Dam, which will cater for the water requirements of Harare has begun, while the long outstanding construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam in Matabeleland South, Vungu Dam in Midlands as well as Bindura and Semwa Dams in Mashonaland Central are progressing well.
Marovanyati Dam in Manicaland Province, Muchekerwana Dam and Chivhu Dam in Mashonaland East Provinces have been completed.
It is important for our nation to lay a sound infrastructure base for sustainable socio-economic development, growth as well as to enhance our role towards regional connectivity and integration.
As such, infrastructure development and expansion is being speeded up across all provinces. The Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare road will be complete by year end, while road rehabilitation works are underway on the Beitbridge-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road. Progress on the Nkayi-Bulawayo Road; Zvishavane- Rutenga Road and the Mberengwa-West Nicholson Road is commendable.
The Harare-Guruve-Kanyemba road, the Harare-Nyamapanda highway and the Mbudzi Interchange in Harare have also reached notable milestones.
Completion of the Chiredzi- Tanganda road as well as the Chivi-Mandamabwe Road has resulted in increased efficiency on those routes. The upgrading and modernisation of the R.G. Mugabe and J.M. Nkomo International Airports are on course, while the upgrade of the Buffalo Range Airport is complete.
In line with my Administration’s determination to deliver inclusive development to the people, construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads, bridges, clinics, classroom blocks and other social amenities have been undertaken within our local authorities. These are proving to be key enablers for increased economic activities and convenience, across all provinces, districts and wards.
Other national infrastructure projects that have been implemented include Chinhoyi Magistrates Courts; Guruve, Murehwa and Buhera Central Registry complexes; Phase 1 of the Beitbridge Border Post Modernisation and the Lupane Water Supply and Irrigation Scheme, among others. These projects are a reflection of independence, freedom and development which benefit all our people, being advanced by the Second Republic.
The provision of reliable and affordable energy and power is pivotal to performance across all sectors. The Hwange Power Station Expansion Project will soon add Unit 7 by end of this year. Accommodative requirements and incentives have seen more investments in solar and the renewable energy sub-sector towards the reduction of our carbon footprint and a broader energy supply mix.
Fellow Countrymen and Women;
The mining sector has immense potential to spur socio-economic development and growth of our economy. Due to the responsive strategies, we are on course to achieve the target of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023. It is also pleasing to note that Artisanal and Small to Medium Scale Gold Miners contributed 62% of the total gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers in 2021.
Recently, our country assumed the Vice Chairmanship of both the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme and the African Diamond Producers Association, subsequently becoming Chair in 2023. These portfolios will be leveraged to achieve maximum value from our diamond mining sector.
Government continues to avail the requisite support and enabling environment towards the resuscitation and growth of industry and commerce.
Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector has increased beyond 65%, resulting in locally produced basic consumer goods constituting about 70% of the market. The development of rural industrialisation is being prioritised, leveraging on the various unique resources within our communities. Meanwhile, total exports are projected to grow by 10% this year, following the penetration of the export market by more of our businesses, including those at the grassroots level.
With regards to Tourism and Hospitality, the increased number of airlines from 3 at the onset of the Second Republic to the current 17 is a testimony of the growth trajectory of the sector as well as the undeniable success of our Engagement and Re- Engagements efforts.
The increased tourism investments of over US$142 million in 2021 and the anticipated rebound of the sector this year, will have positive spill offs to other sub-sectors of the economy including the arts, culture and creative industries. However, tourism players are encouraged to make our tourism products affordable for locals under the ZimBhoo Tourism Promotion Campaign.
Following almost two years of unprecedented COVID -19 disruptions, it is pleasing that the education sector has returned to normalcy. Plans are underway to ensure both the quantitative and qualitative improvement of our education institutions. Given that the level of development of a nation is dependent on the teaching and adoption of science, technology and innovation; resources will continue to be channelled towards expanding the availability of science related infrastructure throughout all schools in the country. This will be complemented by the construction of Government Boarding schools in each district.
Furthermore, the Schools Financing Policy will see the equalisation of opportunities for a higher quality of education for all learners throughout the country. A phased free primary education system will also be effected from 2023.
In line with our Education 5.0 philosophy, institutions of Higher learning are receiving the requisite support. This is propelling scientific and technology driven innovation and productivity towards the establishment of sustainable business enterprises for the emerging national economic realities and needs.
The right to life is sacred and guaranteed through a sound health delivery system. The National Response Strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic is but a small testament of the value my Administration places on the life of each and every Zimbabwean. Hence, the delivery of Universal Health Coverage remains a priority area for this Government.
In spite of the devastating impact of the illegal and unjustified economic sanctions on our health delivery system and other social services, we are not burying our heads in the sand. We are certainly moving forward.
Key milestones are being achieved, with Zimbabwe recording a reduction in maternal mortality. More health facilities are being constructed, rehabilitated and modernised from the districts upwards to enhance accessibility and convenience to the general populace.
The resuscitation of the Pharmaceutical Sector through the deployment of various research and development initiatives at innovation hubs, is being speeded up. I call upon our people to remain alert to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to protect our children from the pandemic, parents and guardians are urged to facilitate the vaccination of children from the age of 12 years.
The Second Republic is determined to implement the necessary policies, projects and programmes to guarantee that all Zimbabweans, no matter where they live, have access to safe and affordable housing and basic social amenities. The endorsement and adoption of alternative building technologies by Government will see the accelerated delivery of climate resilient housing structures and institutions, with a focus on densification and building upwards to preserve our finite land area.
Work has also commenced to address the challenges around informal and irregular settlements throughout the country. Furthermore, Government has initiated a revitalisation programme for rural settlements to bridge the gap between rural and urban life.
Government stands committed to ensure that our public officers, including those in the health and education sectors, have conditions of service commensurate with their important role in driving the national development of our country. We also recognise the critical role played by organised workers as well as employer organisations through the Tripartite Negotiating Forum. Government is equally aware of the plight of workers who were affected by staff reductions and retrenchments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are, therefore, scaling up and strengthening modalities and legislative instruments to protect all workers, including those engaged in domestic service. As we modernise, industrialise and develop our economy, no worker will be left behind.
We are walking the talk, “Zimbabwe at 42: no one and no place is being left behind”. Good governance and people centred service delivery are non-negotiable. The administration and development within our local authorities must, therefore, be reflective of the modernised, industrialised and prosperous country that we are currently building.
The 2022 National Budget has set aside ZW$42.5 billion for devolution projects towards developing all our provinces, districts and wards. At central Government level, the Ministries of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution have been re-focused with emphasis on the development and implementation of provincial economic development programmes, projects and plans.
Dialogue and consultations are a cardinal value system of the Second Republic. Drawing from this, all stakeholders within our provinces are called upon to work together with greater cooperation and unity of purpose for the growth of our respective Provincial GDPs.
The signing of Performance Contracts by Cabinet Ministers, Heads of Ministries and Public Entities will give impetus to foresight, creativity, action and results across the public sector. In all the endeavours of Government, the values of good governance, transparency and accountability to the people, will continue to be upheld.
I commend all our people across the provinces, districts and wards for undertaking the National Clean Up Campaign. Let us now scale up the beautification of our homes, neighbourhoods, institutions and business complexes.
Comrades and Friends;
Women and youth have played a crucial role in the socio-economic development of our country dating back to the days of the liberation struggle. As we mark 42 years of independence, the Second Republic is building on the milestones achieved to date.
The proportional representation women’s quota in the National Assembly was extended, while a 30% women’s quota has been effected in our Local Authorities. Similarly, 10 seats have been reserved for the youth in the National Assembly.
In line with our programme on youth empowerment, young people in various Districts throughout the country will benefit from the Vocational Training and Skills Outreach Programmes. Youth Focal Desks established within Ministries will now ensure the streamlining of policies and programmes to enhance production and productivity among the youth.
The Cultural and Creative Industries constitute an important vehicle for socio-economic transformation, as well as social cohesion and nation building. The sector is, therefore, being supported to grow to be a viable contributor to national revenue streams and source of livelihoods for members of the sector.
I challenge the sector to increase the visibility of its products through the establishment of more galleries, as well as arts and cultural centres, across all the provinces for consumption by both the local and international markets.
On the sidelines of these national celebrations, a youth Gala has been arranged as part of this year’s programme. I call upon the youth, performers and other fans, to enjoy the festivities, while boldly rejecting drug and substance abuse.
The licencing of community and university campus radio stations has undoubtedly enhanced access to information by all our communities. I call upon all operators in our media and broadcasting sector to always use their platforms for national development and the ultimate good of our communities.
An efficient justice delivery system is vital for socio-economic transformation. The initial establishment of Resident Courts by the Judicial Service Commission in Entumbane, Nkulumane, Glen Norah, Epworth and Budiriro are welcome developments which will be expanded to other provinces and districts. The Legal Aid Directorate has also decentralised to the 10 provinces, and new centres will be established during the course of this year.
The Civil Registry Department is presently undertaking a countrywide mobile registration exercise to issue birth and identity documents. As a listening Government, the bottlenecks identified since the beginning of the exercise are being attended to, including the removal of fees and stringent information requirements.
The Independence that we are celebrating today was a collective effort by all the people of Zimbabwe. However, we honour particularly, the gallant heroes and heroines who sacrificed their personal freedoms in order to liberate this country. The welfare of surviving veterans of the liberation struggle is, thus, being continually reviewed to accord them decent livelihoods.
I once again commend all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora for their patriotism and the role they are playing in nation building. Like all other citizens, those in the Diaspora are indeed welcome to participate and invest in all sectors of the economy as we build the Zimbabwe we all want. In the meantime, I urge our citizens in the Diaspora to remain resolute, in spite of the many challenging circumstances they may face in their host countries.
As your President, rest assured that our arms as your fellow countrymen and women remain out-stretched to welcome you back to our free, independent land of opportunities and sovereign home, Zimbabwe.
In concluding my address, I challenge all Zimbabweans and the youth in particular to cherish, preserve and protect the independence and freedom we are enjoying and always advance our national interest.
As we celebrate 42 years of our country’s independence, let us never allow divisive tendencies, greed and the pursuit of unpatriotic self-centred political gains, weaken our bond of unity, peace, love and harmony. Individually and collectively we have a duty to wholeheartedly serve and work hard for the development and prosperity of our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe.
Let us not grow tired but keep marching forward with joy, great optimism, determination, zeal and focus in unity, peace and freedom. Good times lie ahead and the fruits of our labour will be there for all to enjoy.
With these remarks, it is now my distinguished privilege and honour to wish all those gathered here and other Zimbabweans at numerous venues countrywide and in the Diaspora, a Happy Forty Second Independence Day Anniversary.
Long live our Independence!
Long live our unity, peace and freedom!
Long live Zimbabwe!
God bless you all.
God bless Zimbabwe.
I thank you.