Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that his landlocked southern African country’s perennially troubled economy continues to grow despite economic sanctions imposed on Harare by the West.

Mnangagwa made these claims while speaking at the burial of the late national hero, Highten Nkomo at the National Heroes’ Acre.

The 79-year-old Zimbabwe strongman attributed this growth to his Government’s much-vaunted National Development Strategy.

Mnangagwa’s sentiments are in diametric contrast to amplified calls by his long-ruling Zanu PF and regional neighbours like South Africa for the unconditional removal of the sanctions.

Despite the sanctions, our country has moved from recovery to growth under the National Development Strategy 1,” said Mnangagwa.

Expectedly, Mnangagwa also took a swipe at foreign nations for allegedly interfering in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe.

He urged Zimbabweans to respect the heroes who sacrificed their all for the country’s attainment of independence in 1980.

“Let us all take collective responsibility to ensure that we remain a peaceful and secure nation. As our harmonised general elections beckon, we must honour those that sacrificed for our freedom by saying no to violence and no to undue foreign interference in our internal affairs,” said the Zanu PF leader and First Secretary

He also added saying:

“Our erstwhile colonisers now come back to us feigning to be human rights champions, only by day and by night they continue to pursue nefarious programmes to subvert our independence, sovereignty and freedom.

“The then Soviet Union, China and other countries demonstrated their true friendship and respect for our freedom and human rights by helping us to attain our independence and sovereignty. These countries should pursue friendly, progressive and win-win relations never seeking to degrade our self-identity.”

Describing Nkomo, Mnangagwa said the late national hero was a very senior cadre during the liberation struggle.

The late Nkomo is revered for having trained Zanu PF vice-president Kembo Mohadi and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda, among others at Chakwenga Camp.

He was at one time manager at the late Vice-President John Nkomo’s farm.