Sunday, April 20, 2008

(HERALD) ‘Zim not for sale’

‘Zim not for sale’

EVERY Zimbabwean has an obligation to defend national sovereignty and should never succumb to imperialist machinations aimed at reversing the gains of the liberation struggle, President Mugabe has said. Addressing thousands of people gathered at Gwanzura Stadium to commemorate the 28th Independence anniversary yesterday, Cde Mugabe said it was important to note that independence came after a protracted struggle hence the need to jealously safeguard it.

Departing from his prepared speech, the President said it was a shame that some Zimbabweans were being funded by the British to reverse the gains of independence. He said those who fought in the liberation struggle did not do so for money, but for national sovereignty that included the right to land ownership.

"Tavakutengwa! Tavakutengwa semakwai, sezvipfuyo nokuti vane mari! What a shame mava kutengwa kudaro! Ndimi makafirwa nemhuri yatinoti magamba atakaradzika," Cde Mugabe said amid applause from the crowd.

"All of us have an obligation to defend our sovereignty. Toti Zimbabwe is independent because its people are independent and its people must remain independent. Therefore, Zimbabwe shall never be a colony again."

The President said attempts by the British to recolonise Zimbabwe through their local puppets would never succeed.

He said the United Kingdom had no moral authority to preach to Zimbabwe about democracy as the Zimbabweans fought the former coloniser in order to bring about such democracy.

"We, not the British, established democracy based on one person-one vote, democracy which rejected racial or gender discrimination and upheld human rights and religious freedom," Cde Mugabe said.

Turning to the just-ended harmonised polls, Cde Mugabe paid tribute to Zimbabweans for displaying a sense of maturity by maintaining peace before, during and after the election period.

He said there should be no post-election violence as supporters of various political parties should co-exist.

"Izvozvo (violence) ngazviregwe. Those who are playing this must stop immediately otherwise they might be in serious trouble with us," Cde Mugabe said.

The President hailed South African President Thabo Mbeki for brokering the inter-party dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions.

"I want to thank South Africa in a special way for the role it played in brokering the dialogue," he said.

On the international front, Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe had continued to enjoy strong relations with its partners. The country would continue to deepen such relations through Sadc and the African Union.

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s imminent chairmanship of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa should bolster efforts for stronger ties within that community.

Government, he said, was aware of problems being faced by the people and was working on measures to resolve the issues.

Cde Mugabe said Government would be forced to take over businesses that were increasing prices of basic commodities without justification irrespective of who owned them.

Funds had also been set aside to revive businesses that had been closed for various reasons.

In the health sector, the Government would continue improving the working conditions of the personnel coupled with increasing the availability of drugs and equipment.

As a way of alleviating transport problems in the urban areas, the State would continue to boost the fleet of the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company and acquisition of more buses under the National Transport Enhancement Programme.

In the energy sector, rehabilitation of two generators at Kariba Power Station was underway to increase power supply while special emphasis would also be put on promoting establishment of biodiesel plants in some parts of the country.

Cde Mugabe said Government was keen to provide decent accommodation in urban areas.

To this end, he said more housing co-operatives should be established while the Government would assist with youth brigades for the construction of the houses.

The President said Zimbabwe would establish a joint venture with a Chinese company to make water treatment chemicals to curb shortages that sometimes lead to water cuts in urban areas.

Commenting on social issues, Cde Mugabe decried the lack of discipline among the youths, saying some had resorted to drug abuse.

He said parents had a moral obligation to instill good cultural values in their children as some were walking on the streets semi-naked.

"Izvo zveguvhu kunze, mazamu kunze hatife ndakapindirana nazvo izvo. Ko chichazosara zvose zvichinzi zvose panze yacha chii?" Cde Mugabe said amid laughter from the crowd.

Government, he said, was concerned with the increase in rape cases involving minor children and might be forced to take drastic measures that included castration of the perpetrators.

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