Tsvangirai says nation celebrates independence with new ground rules for future


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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday Zimbabwe was celebrating its 33rd independence anniversary as a happy nation because it had approved a new constitution that set new ground rules and a new value system under which its people wanted to be governed. “Today we celebrate this Independence Day with much happiness, knowing fully well that we now have an expanded bill of rights, the women have been empowered and never again will we have a national leadership that is not restricted by term limits!

“We are a tenacious people and we stand with pride that we have carved out a new governance charter for ourselves rather than be governed through a ceasefire document amended 19 times,” he said, adding, “A new charter written by ourselves is definitely what true independence is all about!”

The Prime Minister lamented lack of freedoms like freedom of expression and assembly. He said the nation was still yearning to be allowed to fully express itself from time to time to remind the national leadership of the deficit areas that needed to be addressed so that independence attained its true meaning and significance.

“Independence starts with the independence and freedom of the nation to collectively express itself, even for change. It is in the same spirit of independence that we must all register to vote so that we determine the destiny of our own country. So many people lost their lives for this right to vote and we must guard it jealously and exercise it,” he said.

Below is the Prime Minister’s statement in full:

 

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Independence Day message to the people of Zimbabwe

18 April 2013

It is that day again when we feel proud of our tenacity and resilience as a people as we celebrate our independence from colonial rule.
Today, we pride ourselves in being a nation of heroic fighters -a gallant people – who attained our independence at a great loss of our sons and daughters who fought in the liberation struggle.

The only tragic news is that independence did not come with basic freedoms as we had all assumed.

We still have a huge deficit when it comes to respect for human dignity and human rights because we take for granted the people’s basic freedoms of assembly, speech and association.

Independence must come with freedoms if it is to have total meaning to all of us, which is why some of us were party to the formation of a post-liberation political movement to complete the unfinished business of the liberation struggle.

We have sought to complete the meaning of independence to include the basic freedoms which we have starved each other of even after attaining independence, thereby making such an important day hollow and empty despite the bloodshed.

The good news is that this year, our independence day is coming after we have overwhelmingly voted for a new Constitution-a new charter that will go a long way in addressing the absence of basic freedoms and the deficit of good governance we have endured over the past three decades.

So it is with pride that we celebrate this year’s Independence anniversary because as a people, we have collectively set new ground rules and a new value system under which we want to be governed.

Today we celebrate this Independence Day with much happiness, knowing fully well that we now have an expanded bill of rights, the women have been empowered and never again will we have a national leadership that is not restricted by term limits!

We are a tenacious people and we stand with pride that we have carved out a new governance charter for ourselves rather than be governed through a ceasefire document amended 19 times.

A new charter written by ourselves is definitely what true independence is all about!

The nation is still yearning to be allowed to fully express itself from time to time to remind the national leadership of the deficit areas that need to be addressed so that our independence attains its true meaning and significance.

Independence starts with the independence and freedom of the nation to collectively express itself, even for change.

It is in the same spirit of independence that we must all register to vote so that we determine the destiny of our own country. So many people lost their lives for this right to vote and we must guard it jealously and exercise it.

Indeed, they lost life and limb so that the whims of future generations could walk again.

So we must all register to vote.

In this forthcoming election, we have an ample opportunity to further our independence agenda by voting for new ideas that promote democracy and allow us to pursue and live our dreams.

Congratulations, Zimbabwe!

 

President Robert Mugabe’s Independence Day speech in full

(3 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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