PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday warned economic saboteurs, which include organizations and persons who derive pleasure and profits from the suffering of the public, that the Government is now stepping in to end their shenanigans.
Speaking at the burial of national hero Stanley Nleya at the National Heroes Acre, that was attended by a modest number of people in conformity to the Covid-19 induced restrictions on public gatherings, the President rallied Zimbabweans, from all walks of life, to pluck a leaf from the country’s heroes and put the interests of the country first.
This comes amid recent revelations by the Government and the ruling party Zanu-PF that there is an external hand that is manipulating the country’s economy in order to rouse public anger against the New Dispensation.
“On evident economic malpractices that are present in various forms, my Government will never shy away from implementing policies and measures that ensure that honest workers of our country live honorably.
We shall not allow a situation where our people live in chronic insecurity and deprivation. It has become apparent that in our midst, there are wolves in sheep clothing. The end is coming,” he said.
In his remarks the President further challenged Zimbabweans to individually introspect and ask themselves what role they are playing in order to build “a brighter future for the next generations” as was done by the late Cde Nleya and other liberators.
“Under the Second Republic, we are determined to modernise and transform the economic, social, political and technological landscape of our great country.
“As it was during the liberation struggle, our present journey to national development will have challenges, delays and detours. This Era in the history of our country calls for focus, discipline and unyielding resolve. Like the liberators of yester-year and the likes of the late Cde Stanley Nleya, let us never wander off from the path towards economic prosperity, as guided by our National Vision 2030.
The President said while the country’s gruelling war for independence entailed the use of guns and other like ammunition, today’s war has assumed another form that is predominantly silent but with devastating consequences especially if people are not united.
He however, said against all odds, Zimbabwe will prevail and march towards fulfilling the dreams and aspirations of its people.
“Let us never be complacent, the war of today has neither guns nor bombs. The war against our economic prosperity is ongoing. Rest assured that the enemies of the progress and economic growth of our country will never win. The challenges we face are not insurmountable. I exhort all of us, not to surrender, it is not over. Our gallant freedom fighters did not give up after the bombing of Freedom Camp or Chimoio Camp.
They fought on. Let us today equally fight on through consistent production and hard work. A better life for our people shall be realised,” said the President.
During the liberation struggle, the minority white Rhodesian government led by Ian Smith committed atrocities that included killing civilians in camps such as Chimoio and Freedom, but undeterred by the massacres the country’s liberators soldiered on, and took the war to the doorstep of the colonisers until their capitulation.
Thus the President said Zimbabweans should draw inspiration from the late Cde Nleya and “other gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe”.
“Our national hero leaves behind a legacy of dedication to duty, courage, selflessness and patriotism. As we lay him to rest today, we should emulate his commitment to the national interest, dedication to duty, as well as the spirit of hard work and humility. The late Cde Nleya was a principled man and compatriot who remained faithful to the cause of the liberation of his country.
“He served with distinction and passion as both leader and team player. In spite of the colonial repression and oppression, he endured and remained focused on the ultimate objective of liberating our motherland. He was never distracted from the national cause.
“Let us therefore take a leaf from his exemplary spirit by rekindling in ourselves that sense of national pride that entreats us to look inwards convinced that, ‘We are our own liberators’. Now is the time for this kind of attitude,” the President said.
The late Cde Nleya, who trained some of the country’s finest soldiers, including current Commander of the Defence Forces Philip Valerio Sibanda, was selected to undergo military training in Morogoro Tanzania in 1969 and after training he rose through the ranks to become a military instructor, chief of staff and then deputy chief of operations in the ZIPRA military wing of Zapu.
Amid the shadow of Covid-19, which meant few people in attendance and also social distancing and the screening of temperatures, the President said persons in positions of leadership, be it in industry, business, commerce, politics or any other sector should “always strive to mould and mentor those around us to be dependable, honest, loyal and patriotic citizens”.
“Let us all introspect and ask ourselves as leaders in our various fields if we can be counted on for the advancement of the cause of the nation.
Can you as business men and women or civil servants of our nation be deployed to advance the present national development agenda. Can you put national interests and the interest of the majority, ahead of our own. In the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic, can you be trusted to direct operations in the fight against the spread of the scourge? Can you be counted on to reject and expose practices which are contrary to the interests of the majority?” said President Mnangagwa.
Cde Nleya’s family representative Mr Tshakalisa Dube said that the children of the late national hero who are based in the United Kingdom could not make it for his burial.
“We want to express our thanks and gratitude to His Excellency President Mnangagwa and the Government of Zimbabwe for according this award of national hero status to our father figure Cde Stanley Gagisa Nleya,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently going through a rough economic patch that has been created by some vigilante groups that are determined to see the Second Republic fail.
However, President Mnangagwa has put in place a raft of measures to protect the people, including US dollar cushioning allowances as well as providing cheap public transport.
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