Home-grown solutions to challenges besetting the country are vital ingredients that will ensure lasting peace, unity and economic development for Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said.

In his address to the nation on the 35th anniversary of the Unity Accord that was signed between Zanu and Zapu in 1987, and which put to an end the baneful cycle of post-independence conflict, the President said “the historic document forever changed the direction of our Nation”.

“22 December is one of most important dates on our National Calendar. The iconic document including its inbuilt spirit, ideas and philosophy remains a rich heritage of our great country.

It is a vital resource and instrument upon which we are anchoring our shared vision for inclusive development and a modern, industrialised, prosperous and empowered society,” the President said.

Critically, the document is a living testimony of the enduring quality of home-grown solutions to any form of problem or challenge that the nation may face as opposed to having foreign elements dictate terms to sovereign nations.

“We take pride in the fact that the Agreement was home-grown, with our two liberation movements, namely the Zimbabwe African National Union, ZANU, and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, ZAPU, putting aside their differences for the greater national good.

“Today, we thus, celebrate this important National Unity Day as we deepen our resolve to defend and entrench the Unity bequeathed to us, which is permeating across our country.

It is sacred and defines us as a people and nation to the extent that future generations have the weighty responsibility to defend and enjoy the benefits accruing from it.”

It is on the plinths of unity that the Second Republic has developed policies that will ensure development that leaves no one and no place behind, finding practical expression in the ubiquitous construction of infrastructure across the country, and also equal distribution of resources.

“Undoubtedly, under my watch and going into the future, Government policies, programmes and projects have crystallised around inclusive broad based sustainable socio-economic development that leaves no one and no place behind.

The decentralisation of Independence Day celebrations, which began this year with the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province playing host, is now the norm.

“This is a translation of our commitment to ensuring that all the people, from every part of our beloved country, coalesce around our shared national identity, events and symbols,” the President said, adding “development projects and investments being implemented throughout our country must be understood, in the context of the collective national good.

Hence, the construction of dams, energy, health and education infrastructure is ultimately for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. This is the national character trait and unity which must be entrenched as we concertedly develop, modernise and industrialise our country for a higher quality of life for all our people”.

In this regard the President said his administration is building “on the ethic of National Unity, love and harmony. Guided by our development mantra, Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, nevene vayo; Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswa, ngabanikazi balo; we are working with all communities, through the traditional leadership to enhance social cohesion as well as propel production and productivity across all sectors, from the ward level upwards”.

“Our grassroots remain the key stakeholders who constitute the critical mass to drive this present national development epoch. My Government is making bold and deliberate decisions to ensure that programmes and projects impact the lives of every Zimbabwean, family and community. No one and no place is being left behind.

“Of particular concern to my Administration is the quest to resolve the unique needs and pressures faced by communities, which we continue to purposefully and compassionately address. In this regard, I count on our esteemed traditional leaders, the custodians of our indigenous knowledge systems not only to lead in conflict resolution and transformation mechanisms, but more importantly, drive the multi-pronged socio-economic development of our communities. Through them and the broader local government architecture, socio-cultural and developmental matters are being brought to Government for appropriate attention and action,” he said.

Furthermore, President Mnangagwa said while Zimbabweans cannot change the past they can, shoulder to the wheel and with forward looking minds, learn from it and chart a brighter and more prosperous future.

“The Second Republic’s Policy of Devolution and Decentralisation aims to ensure inclusive and participatory development which is guided and directed by communities. Development priorities are now being identified by communities towards genuine and sustainable development designed to accelerate the process of taking our people out of poverty and into prosperity.

“Broad-based, inclusive development and empowerment which leaves no person, no family or community behind are indeed the ultimate panacea to durable National Unity. Under the Second Republic, the very fabric and sense of national belonging is being consolidated”.

The tenets of unity and peace should also provide the light for Zimbabwe as the country prepares for next year general elections, a process that the President said should not be used as an excuse for violence, conflict or hate.

“Elections should never be an excuse or pretext for political conflict, disturbances, hate speech or disharmony. Unity, patriotism, loyalty and love for our great motherland, Zimbabwe should always be our guiding beacon; no matter the season or times. This is the rich tradition we must bequeath to future generations.

“Drawing from the legacy and lessons of the Unity Accord, unity, peace, stability, freedom and development are guaranteed under the Second Republic. Our Motherland, Zimbabwe shall today, tomorrow and for all times be a united nation at peace with itself and for itself.

“Lets us, therefore, individually and collectively use this day to recommit ourselves to jealously guard, defend, preserve and promote the unity, peace and development we are enjoying”.

Meanwhile, the President urged the commuting public to be safe and exercise caution during this festive season while imploring the nation to be ever vigilant against the Covid-19 pandemic. -The Herald